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^-»v I '-» ' ' '^ '^ I 



O. HENRY, pa 

Avihar of *'Th$ Vaie$ofth$ CUy,** *'Th$ Trimm4d 

Lamp;' ''Strictly Bwiness,'' '*Whirlig%gi;' 

*'Six$9 and SmfMB," Etc. 





Acknowledffment is made to The New York World, 

The Smart Set, and McClure's Magazine, 

for permission to republish these stories 

COPYRIGHT, 1903, 1905, 1906, BY 





Copyriurht, 1905, by Press Publishinsr Company 
Copyri8iat,i902, by Ess Ess Publishing Company 

Not very long ago some one invented the assertion 
'^ihat there were only " Four Hundred ** people in 
New York City who xoere redUy worth noticing. But 
a wiser man has arisen — the census taker — and his 
larger estimate of human interest has been preferred 
in marking out the field of these little stories of the 
•• Four MiUion.'* 




Tobin's Palm 3 

The Gift of the Magi . , 16 

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe " 26 

Between Rounds ...••.•••. 36 

The Skylight Room 47 

A Service of Love 58 

The Comino-Out of Maggie 69 

Man About Town 82 

The Cop and the Anthem 90 

An Adjustment of Nature 101 

Memoirs of a Yellow Doo 110 

The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein . . .119 

Mammon and the Archer 128 

Springtime a la Carte 140 

The Green Door 151 

From the Cabby's Seat 165 

An Unfinished Story • . .174 

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock . • . .186 

Sisters of the Golden Circle 197 

The Romance of a Busy Broker • • • • • 208 



Afteh Twenty Years . ., ,. . .. ,„ ,. . 215 

Lost on Dress Parade . • •, ,•^ »•• • ,. . 221 

By Courier 232 

Thb Furnished Room ......... 239 

Thb Brief Debut of Tildy • ..i ..i i.i i*. •. • 251 



TOBIN and me, the two of us, went down to Coney 
one day, for there was four dollars between us, 
and Tobin had need of distractions. For there was 
Katie Mahomer, his sweetheart, of County Sligo, 
lost since she started for America three months be- 
fore with two hundred dollars, her own savings, and 
one hundred dollars from the sale of Tobin's in- 
herited estate, a fine cottage and pig on the Bog 
Shannaugh. And since the letter that Tobin got 
saying that she had started to come to him not a 
bit of news had he heard or seen of Katie Mahomer. 
Tobin advertised in the papers, but nothing could 
be found of the colleen. 

So, to Coney me and Tobin went, thinking that a 
turn at the chutes and the smell of the popcorn 
might raise the heart in his bosom. But Tobin was 
a hard-headed man, and the sadness stuck in his 
^kin. He ground his teeth at the crying balloons; 
he cursed the moving pictures ; and, though he would 
drink whenever asked, he scorned Punch and Judy, 
and was for licking the tintype men as they came. 

4 The Four Million 

So I gets him down a side way on a board walk 
where the attractions were some less violent. 
At a little six by eight stall Tobin halts, with a 
more human look in his eye. 

«'Tis here," says he, "I will be diverted. I'll 
have the palm of me hand investigated by the won- 
derful palmist of the Nile, and see if what is to be 
will be." 

Tobin was a believer in signs and the unnatural 
in nature. He possessed illegal convictions in his 
mind along the subjects of black cats, lucky num- 
bers, and the weather predictions in the papers. 

We went into the enchanted chicken coop, which 
was fixed mysterious with red cloth and pictures of 
hands with lines crossing 'em like a railroad centfe. 
The sign over the door says it is Madame Zozo the 
Egyptian Palmist. There was a fat woman inside 
in a red jumper with pothooks and beasties embroid- 
ered upon it. Tobin gives her ten cents and extends 
one of his hands. She lifts Tobin's hand, which is 
own brother to the hoof of a dravhorse, and ex- 
amines it to see whether 'tis a stone in the frog or a 
cast shoe he has come for. 

"Man," says this Madame Zozo, "the line of 
your fate shows — " 

** 'Tis not me foot at all," says Tobm, interrupt- 

Tobin^s Palm 5 

ing. **Sure, 'tis no beauty, but ye hold the pahn of 
me hand.'* 

**The line shows," says the Madame, *Hhat ye've 
not arrived at your time of life without bad luck. 
And there's more to come. The mount of Venus — 
or IS that a stone bruise? — shows that ye've been in 
Jove. There's been trouble in your life on account 
of your sweetheart." 

" 'Tis Katie Mahomer she has references with,'* 
whispers Tobin to me in a loud voice to one side. 

"I see," says the palmist, "a great deal of sor- 
row and tribulation with one whom ye cannot forget, 
I see the lines of designation point to the letter K 
and the letter M in her name." 

**Whist!" says Tobin to me; "do ye hear that?" 

"Look out," goes on the palmist, "for a dark man 
and a light woman ; for they'll both bring ye trouble. 
Ye'll make a voyage upon the water very soon, and 
have a financial loss. I see one line that brings good 
luck. There's a man coming into your life who will 
fetch ye good fortune. Ye'll know him when ye see 
him by his crooked nose." 

"Is his name set down?" asks Tobin. " 'Twill be 
convenient in the way of greeting when he backs up 
to dump off the good luck." 

^His name," says the palmist, thoughtful looking, 


6 The Four Million 


IS not spelled out by the lines, but they indicate 
His a long one, and the letter *o' should be in it. 
There's no more to tell. Good-evening. Don't 
block up the door." 

" 'Tis wonderful how she knows," says Tobin as 
we walk to the pier. 

As we squeezed through the gates a nigger man 
sticks his lighted segar against Tobin's ear, and 
there is trouble. Tobin hammers his ne?k, and the 
women squeal, and by presence of mind I drag the 
little man out of the way before the police comes. 
Tobin is always in an ugly mood when enjoying him- 

On the boat going back, when the man calls *'Who 
wants the good-looking waiter?" Tobin tried to plead 
guilty, feeling the desire to blow the foam off a 
crock of suds, but when he felt in his pocket he found 
himself discharged for lack of evidence. Somebody 
had disturbed his change during the commotion. So 
we sat, dry, upon the stools, listening to the Dagoes 
fiddling on deck. If anything, Tobin was lower in 
spirits and less congenial with his misfortunes than 
when we started. 

On a seat against the railing was a young woman 
dressed suitable for red automobiles, with hair the 
colour of an unsmoked meerschaum. In passing by 

Tobin's Palm 7 

Tobin kicks her foot without intentions, and, being 
polite to ladies when in drink, he tries to give his hat 
a twist while apologising. But he knocks it off, and 
the wind carries it overboard. 

Tobin came back and sat down, and I began to 
look out for him, for the man's adversities were be- 
coming frequent. He was apt, when pushed so close 
by hard luck, to kick the best dressed man he could 
see, and try to take command of the boat. 

Presently Tobin grabs my arm and says, excited: 
**Jawn," says he, "do ye know what we're doing? 
We're taking a voyage upon the water." 

**There now," says I ; "subdue yeself • The boat'll 
land in ten minutes more." 

**Look," says he, "at the light lady upon the 
bench. And have ye forgotten the nigger man that 
burned me ear? And isn't the money I had gone — 
a dollar sixty-five it was?" 

I thought he was no more than summing up his 
catastrophes so as to get violent with good excuse, 
as men will do, and I tried to make him understand 
such things was trifles. 

**Listen," says Tobin. "Ye've no ear for the gift 
of prophecy or the miracles of the inspired. What 
did the palmist lady tell ye out of me hand? 'Tis 
coming true before your eyes. ^Look out,' says she, 

8 The Four Million 

*f or a dark man and a light woman ; they'll bring ye 
trouble.' Have ye forgot the nigger man, though 
he got some of it back from me fist? Can ye show 
me a lighter woman than the blonde lady that was 
the cause of me hat falling in the water? And 
where's the dollar sixty-five I had in me vest when we 
left the shooting gallery?" 

The way Tobin put it, it did seem to corroborate 
the art of prediction, though it looked to me that 
these accidents could happen to any one at Coney 
without the implication of palmistry. 

Tobin got up and walked around on deck, looking 
close at the passengers out of his little red eyes. I 
asked him the interpretation of his movements. Ye 
never know what Tobin has in his mind until he be- 
gins to carry it out. 

"Ye should know," says he, "I'm working out the 
salvation promised by the lines in me palm. I'm 
looking for the crooked-nose man that's to bring 
the good luck. 'Tis all that will save us. Jawn, 
did ye ever see a straighter-nosed gang of hellions 
in the days of your life?" 

'Twas the nine-thirty boat, and we landed and 
walked up-town through Twenty-second Street, 
Tobin being without his hat. 

On a street comer, standing under a gas-ligfat 

Tohins Palm 9 

and looking over the elevated road at the moon, was 
a man. A long man he was, dressed decent, with ii 
segar between his teeth, and I saw that liis no o 
made two twists from bridge to end, like the wrig/ic 
of a snake. Tobin saw it at the same time, and I 
heard him breathe hard like a horse when you take 
the saddle off. He went straight up to the man, 
and I went with him. 

'^Good-night to ye," Tobin says to the man. The 
man takes out his segar and passes the compliments, 

"Would ye hand us your name," asks Tobin, 
**and let us look at the size of it? It may be our 
duty to become acquainted with ye." 

**My name," says the man, polite, **is Frieden- 
bailsman — Maximus G. Friedenhausman." 

"'Tis the right length," says Tobin. "Do you 
spell it with an *o* anywhere down the stretch of 

"I do not," says the man. 

**Can ye spell it with an *o'?" inquires Tobin, 
turning anxious. 

If your conscience," says the man with the nose, 
is indisposed toward foreign idioms ye might, to 
please yourself, smuggle the letter into the penulti- 
mate syllable." 


10 The Four Million 

*' 'Tis well," says Tobin. *^e're in the presence 
of Jawn Malone and Daniel Tobin.** 

" 'Tis highly appreciated," says the man, with a 
bow. **And now since I cannot conceive that ye 
would hold a spelling Jbee upon the street corner, will 
ye name some reasonable excuse for being at large?" 

"By the two signs," answers Tobin, trying to ex- 
plain, "which ye display according to the reading of 
the Eg3rptian palmist from the sole of me hand, ye've 
been nominated to offset with good luck the lines of 
trouble leading to the nigger man and the blonde 
lady with her feet crossed in the boat, besides the 
financial loss of a dollar sixty-five, all so far ful- 
filled according to Hoyle." 

The man stopped smoking and looked at me. 

"Have ye any amendments," he asks, "to offer to 
that statement, or are ye one too? I thought by the 
looks of ye ye might have him in charge." 

"None," says I to him, "except that as one horse- 
shoe resembles another so are ye the picture of good 
luck as predicted by the hand of me friend. If not, 
then the lines of Danny's hand may have been 
crossed, I don't know." 

"There's two of ye," says the man with the nose, 
looking up and down for the sight of a policeman. 
"I've enjoyed your company immense. Good-night." 

Tobin's Palm 11 

With that he shoves his segar in his mouth and 
moves across the street, stepping fast. But Tobin 
sticks close to one side of him and me at the other. 

"What!" sajs he, stopping on the opposite side- 
walk and pushing back his hat; "do ye follow me? 
I tell ye," he says, very loud, "I'm proud to have 
met ye. But it is my desire to be rid of ye. I am 
off to me home." 

"Do," says Tobin, leaning against his sleeve. 
**Do be off to your home. And I will sit at tlie door 
of it till ye come out in the morning. For the de- 
pendence is upon ye to obviate the curse of the nig- 
ger man and the blonde lady and the financial loss 
of the one-sixty-five." 

" 'Tis a strange hallucination," says tlie man, 
turning to me as a more reasonable lunatic. 
**Hadn't ye better get him home?" 

"Listen, man," says I to him. "Daniel Tobin is 
as sensible as he ever was. Maybe he is a bit de- 
ranged on account of having drink enough to dis- 
turb but not enough to settle his wits, but he is no 
more than following out the legitimate path of his 
superstitions and predicaments, which I will explain 
to you." With that I relates the facts about the 
palmist lady and how the finger of suspicion points 
to him as an instrument of good fortune. "Now^ 

12 The Four Million 

understand," I concludes, "my position in tliis riot. 
I am the friend of me friend Tobin, according to me 
interpretations. 'Tis easy to be a friend to the 
prosperous, for it pays ; 'tis not hard to be a friend 
to the poor, for ye get puffed up by gratitude and 
have your picture printed standing in front of a 
tenement with a scuttle of coal and an orphan in 
each hand. But it strains the art of friendship to 
be true friend to a born fool. And that's what Fm 
doing," says I, "for, in my opinion, there's no for- 
tune to be read from the palm of me hand that wasn't 
printed there with the handle of a pick. And, 
tliough ye've got the crookedest nose in New York 
City, I misdoubt that all the fortune-tellers doing 
business could milk good luck from ye. But the lines 
of Danny's hand pointed to ye fair, and I'll assist 
him to experiment with ye until he's convinced ye're 

After that the man turns, sudden, to laughing. 
He leans against a corner and laughs considerable. 
Then he claps me and Tobin on the backs of us and 
takes us by an arm apiece. 

" 'Tis my mistake," says he. "How could I be 
expecting anything so fine and wonderful to be turn- 
ing the corner upon me? I came near being found 
unworthy. Hard by," says he, "is a cafe, snug and 

Tobin's Palm 13 

suitable for the entertainment of idiosyncrasies. 
Let us go there and have a drink while we discuss 
the unavailability of the categorical.'' 

So saying, he marched me and Tobin to the back 
room of a saloon, and ordered the drinks, and laid 
the money on the table. He looks at me and Tobin 
like brothers of his, and we have the segars. 

"Ye must know,*' says the man of destiny, "that 
me walk in life is one that is called the literary. I 
wander abroad be night seeking idiosyncrasies in the 
masses and truth in the heavens above. When ye 
came upon me I was in contemplation of the elevated 
7oad in conjunction with the chief luminary of 
night. The rapid transit is poetry and art: the 
moon but a tedious, dry body, moving by rote. But 
these are private opinions, for, in the business of 
literature, the conditions are reversed. 'Tis me 
hope to be writing a book to explain the strange 
things I have discovered in life." 

**Ye will put me in a book," says Tobin, disgusted ; 
**will ye put me in a book.'*" 

"I will not," says the man, "for the covers will 
not hold ye. Not yet. The best I can do is to enjoy 
ye meself, for the time is not ripe for destroying the 
limitations of print. Ye would look fantastic in 
type. All alone by meself must I drink this cup of 

14 The Four Million 

joy. But, I thank ye, boys; I am truly grateful.'* 
"The talk of ye," says Tobin, blowing through his 
moustache and pounding the table with his fist, "is an 
eyesore to me patience. There was good luck prom- 
ised out of the crook of your nose, but ye bear fruit 
like the bang of a drum. Ye resemble, with your 
noise of books, the wind blowing through a crack. 
Sure, now, I would be thinking the palm of me hand 
lied but for the coming true of the nigger man and 
the blonde lady and — " 

"Whist!" says the long man; "would ye be led 
astray by physiognomy? Me nose will do what it 
can within bounds. Let us have these glasses filled 
again, for 'tis good to keep idiosyncrasies well mois- 
tened, they being subject to deterioration in a dry 


moral atmosphere." 

So, the man of literature makes good, to my no- 
tion, for he pays, cheerful, for everything, the cap- 
ital of me and Tobin being exhausted by prediction. 
But Tobin is sore, and drinks quiet, with the red 
showing in his eye. 

By and by we moved out, for 'twas eleven o'clock, 
and stands a bit upon the sidewalk. And then the 
ma'ii says he must be going home, and invites me and 
Tobin to walk that way. We arrives on a side street 
two blocks away where there is a stretch of brick 

Tobin's Palm 15 

houses with high stoops and iron fences. The man 
stops at one of them and looks up at the top windows 
which he finds dark. 

** 'Tis me humble dwelling," says he, "and I begin 
to perceive by the signs that me wife has retired to 
slumber. Therefore I will venture a bit in the way 
of hospitality. 'Tis me wish that ye enter the base- 
ment room, where we dine, and partake of a reason- 
able refreshment. There will be some fine cold fowl 
and cheese and a bottle or two of ale. Ye will be 
welcome to enter and eat, for I am indebted to ye for 
diversions. '* 

The appetite and conscience of me and Tobin was 
congenial to the proposition, though 'twas sticking 
hard in Danny's superstitions to think that a few 
drinks and a cold lunch should represent the good 
fortune promised by the palm of his hand. 

"Step down the steps," says the man with the 
crooked nose, "and I will enter by the door above 
and let ye in. I will ask the new girl we lieve in the 
kitchen," says he, "to make ye a pot of coffee to 
drink before ye go. 'Tis fine coffee K?.tie Mahomer 
makes for a green girl just landed three months. 
Step in," says the man, "and I'll send her down to 


O^fE dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. 
And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved 
one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and 
the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks 
burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that 
such close dealing implied. Three times Delia 
counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. 
And the next day would be Christmas. 

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on 
the shabby little couch and howl. So Delia did it. 
Which instigates the moral reflection that life is 
made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles pre- 

While the mistress of the home is gradually sub- 
siding from the first stage to the second, take a look 
at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It 
did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly 
had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy 

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which 

no letter would go, and an electric button from which 


The Gift of the Magi 17 

no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertain- 
ing thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. 
James Dillingham Young." 

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze 
during a former period of prosperity when its pos- 
sessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the 
income was shrunk to $20, the letters of "Dilling- 
ham" looked blurred, as though they were thinking 
seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming 
D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young 
came home and reached his flat above he was called 
"Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dilling- 
ham Young, already introduced to you as Delia. 
Which is all very good. 

Delia finished her cry and attended to her cheeks 
with the powder rag. She stood by the window and 
looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence 
in a grey backyard. To-morrow would be Christ- 
mas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy 
Jim a present. She had been saving every penny 
she could for months, with this result. Twenty dol- 
lars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been 
greater than she had calculated. They always are. 
Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. 
Many a happy hour she had spent planning for 
something nice for him. Something fine and rare 

18 The Four Million 

and sterling — something just a little bit near to 
being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim, 

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the 
room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 
flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by 
observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longi- 
tudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of 
his looks. Delia, being slender, had mastered the 

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood 
before the glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, 
but her face had lost its colour within twenty sec- 
onds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it 
fall to its full length. 

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dil- 
lingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty 
pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his 
father's and his grandfather's. The otlier was Del- 
la's hair. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat 
across the airshaft, Delia would have let her hair 
hang out the window some day to dry just to de- 
preciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King 
Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled 
up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his 
watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at 
his beard from envy. 

The Gift of the Magi 19 

So now Delia's beautiful hair fell about her, rip- 
pling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. 
It reached below her knee and made itself almost a 
garment for her. And then she did it up again nerv- 
ously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute 
and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the 
worn red carpet. 

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old 
brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the bril- 
liant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the 
door and down the stairs to the street. 

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mme. So- 
fronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up 
Delia ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, 
large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "So- 

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Delia. 

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off 
and let's have a sight at the looks of it." 

Down rippled the brown cascade. 

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass 
with a practised hand. 

**Give it to me quick," said Delia. 

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy 
wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ran- 
sacking the stores for Jim's present. 

20 Tlie Four Million 

She found it at last. It surely had been made for 
Jun and no one else. There was no other like it 
in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them 
inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and 
chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by 
substance alone and not by meretricious ornament \- 
tion — as all good things should do. It was eveu 
worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she 
knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quiet- 
ness and value — the description applied to both. 
Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, end 
she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain 
on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about 
the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, 
he sometimes looked »at it on the sly on account of 
the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain. 

When Delia reached home her intoxication gave 
way a little to prudence and reason. She got out 
her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to 
work repairing the ravages made by generosity 
added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, 
dear friends — a mammoth task. 

Within fortv minutes her head was covered with 
tiny, close-lj'ing curls that made her look wonder- 
fully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her re- 
flection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically* 

The Gift of the Magi 21 

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "be- 
fore he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look 
like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I 
do — oh ! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- 
seven cents?" 

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying- 
pan was on the back of -the stove hot and ready to 
cook the chops. 

Jim was never late. Delia doubled the fob chair^ 
in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near 
the door that he always entered. Then she heard 
his titep oa the stair away dowu on the first flight, 
ana sne turned white for just a moment. She had a 
habit of saying little silent prayers about the simplest 
everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please 
God, make him think I am still pretty." 

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed 
it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, 
he was only twenty-two — and to be burdened with a 
family ! He needed a new overcoat and he was with- 
out gloves. 

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a 
setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon 
Delia, and there was an expression in them that she 
could not read, and it terrified her. It was not 
anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, 

22 The Four Million 

nor any of the sentiments that she had been pre- 
pared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with 
that peculiar expression on his face. 

Delia wriggled off the table and went for him, 

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that 
way. I had my hair cut off and sold it because I 
couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving 
you a present. It'll grow out again — you won't 
mind, will you ? I just had to do it. My hair grows 
awfully fast. Say *Merry Christmas!' Jim, and 
let's be happy. You don't know what a nice — what 
a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you." 

**You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, labori- 
ously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact 
yet even after the hardest mental labour. 

"Cut it off and sold it," said Delia. "Don't you 
like me just as well, anyhow.? I'm me without my 
hair, ain't I?" 

Jim looked about the room curiously. 

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air 
almost of idiocy. * 

"You needn't look for it," said Delia. "It's sold, 
I tell you — sold and gone, too. It's Christmas 
Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. 
Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went 
on with a sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody 

The Gift of the Magi 28 

could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the 
chops on, Jim?" 

Out of liis trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He 
enfolded his Delia. For ten seconds let us regard 
with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object 
in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a 
million a year — what is the difference? A mathe- 
matician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. 
The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not 
among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated 
later on. 

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and 
threw it upon the table. 

**Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about 
me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a 
haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me 
like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that 
package you may see why you had me going a while 
at first." 

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and 
paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; 
and then, alas ! a quick feminine change to hysterical 
tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employ- 
ment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the 

For there lay TTie Combs — the set of combs, side 

24 The Four Million 

and back, that Delia had worshipped for long in a 
Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tor- 
toise shell, with jewelled rims — just the shade to 
wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were ex- 
pensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply 
craved and yearned over them without the least hope 
jf possession. And now, they were hers, but the 
tresses that should have adorned the coveted adorn- 
ments were gone. 

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length 
she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile 
and say : "INIy hair grows so fast, Jim !" 

And then Delia leaped up like a little singed cat 
and cried, "Oh, oh !" 

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She 
held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The 
dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection 
of her bright and ardent spirit. 

"Isn't it a dand}', Jim? I hunted all over town 
to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred 
times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to 
see how it looks on it." 

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch 
and put his hands under the back of his head and 

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas pres- 

The Gift of the Magi 26 

ents away and keep 'cm a while. They're too nice to 
use just at present. I sold the watch to get the 
money to buy your combs. And now suppose you 
put the chops on." 

The magi, as you know, were wise men — wonder- 
fully wise men — who brought gifts to the Babe in 
the manger. They invented the art of giviag Qirist- 
mas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt 
wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange 
in case of duplication. And here I have lamely re- 
lated to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish 
children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for 
each other the greatest treasures of their house. 
But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be 
said that of all who give gifts these two were the 
wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as 
they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They 
are the magi. 


At midnight the cafe was crowded. By some 
chance the little table at which I sat had escaped 
the eye of incomers, and two vacant chairs at it ex- 
tended their arms with venal hospitality to the influx 
of patrons. 

And then a cosmopolite sat in one of them, and I 
was glad, for I held a theory that since Adam no 
true citizen of the world has existed. We hear of 
them, and we see foreign labels on much luggage, but 
we find travellers instead of cosmopolites. 

I invoke your consideration of the scene — the 
marble-topped tables, the range of leather-uphol- 
stered wall seats, the gay company, the ladies 
dressed in demi-state toilets, speaking in an exquisite 
visible chorus of taste, economy, opulence or art; 
the sedulous and largess-loving garfons, the music 
wisely catering to all with its raids upon the com- 
posers: the melange of talk and laughter — and, if 
you will, the Wiirzburger in the tall glass cones that 
bend to your lips as a ripe cherry sways on its 
branch to the beak of- a robber jay. I was told by 
a sculptor from Mauch Chunk that the scene was 

truly Parisian. 


A Cosmopolite in a Cafe 27 

My cosmopolite was named E. Rushmore Coglan, 
and he will be heard from next summer at Coney 
Island. He is to establish a new "attraction" there, 
he informed me, offering kingly diversion. And 
then his conversation rang along parallels of lati- 
tude and longitude. He took the great, round world 
in his hand, so to speak, familiarly, contemptuously, 
and it seemed no larger than the seed of a Mara- 
schino cherry in a table d'hote grape fruit. He 
spoke disrespectfully of the equator, he skipped 
from continent to continent, he derided the zones, he 
mopped up the high s^s with his napkin. With a 
wave of his hand he would speak of a certain bazaar 
in Hyderabad. Whiff ! He would have you on skis 
in Lapland. Zip ! Now you rode the breakers with 
the Kanakas at Kealaikahiki. Presto ! He dragged 
you through an Arkansas post-oak swamp, let you 
dry for a moment on the alkali plains of his Idaho 
ranch, then whirled you into the society of Viennese 
archdukes. Anon he would be telling you of a cold 
he acquired in a Chicago lake breeze and how old 
Escamila cured it in Buenos Avres with a hot in- 
fusion of the chuchula weed. You would have ad- 
dressed a letter to "E. Rushmore Coglan, Esq., the 
Earth, Solar System, the Universe,'* and mailed it, 
feeling confident that it would be delivered to him. 

28 The Four Million 

I was sure that I had found at last the one true 
cosmopolite since Adam, and I listened to his world- 
wide discourse fearful lest I should discover in it 
the local note of the mere globe-trotter. But his 
opinions never fluttered or drooped; he was as im- 
partial to cities, countries and continents as the 
winds or gravitation. 

And as E. Rushmore Coglan prattled of this lit- 
tle planet I thought with glee of a great almost-cos- 
mopolite who wrote for the whole world and dedi- 
cated himself to Bombay. In a poem he has to say 
that there is })ride and rivalry between the cities of 
the earth, and that ''the men that breed from them, 
they traffic up and down, but cling to their cities' 
hem as a child to the mother's gown." And when- 
ever they walk "by roaring streets unknown" they 
remember their native city "most faithful, foolish, 
fond; making her mere-breathed name their bond 
upon their bond." And my glee was roused because 
I had caught Mr. Kipling napping. Here I had 
found a man not made from dust-; one who had no 
narrow boasts of birthplace or country, one who, if 
he bragged at all, would brag of his whole round 
globe against the Martians and the inhabitants of 
the Moon. 

Expression on these subjects was precipitated 

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe 29 

from E. Rushmore Coglan by the third corner to our 
table. While Coglan was describing to me the topog- 
raphy along the Siberian Railway the orchestra 
glided into a medley. The concluding air was 
"Dixie,*' and as the exhilarating notes tumbled forth 
they were almost overpowered by a great clapping of 
bands from almost every table. 

It is worth a paragraph to say that this remark- 
able scene can be witnessed every evening in nu- 
merous cafes in the City of New York. Tons of brew 
have been consmned over theories to account for it. 
Some have conjectured hastily that all Southerners 
in town hie themselves to cafes at nightfall. This 
applause of the "rebel" air in a Northern city does 
puzzle a little ; but it is not insolvable. The war with 
Spain, many years' generous mint and watermelon 
crops, a few long-shot winners at the New Orleans 
race track, and the brilliant banquets given by the 
Indiana and Kansas citizens who compose the North 
Carolina Society have made the South rather a 
**fad" in Manhattan. Your manicure will lisp 
softly that your left forefinger reminds her so much 
of a gentleman's in Richmond, Va. Oh, certainly; 
but many a lady has to work now — the war, you 

YHien "Dixie" was being played a dark-haired 

80 The Four Million 

young man sprang up from somewhere with a Mosby 
guerrilla yell and waved frantically his soft-brimmed 
hat. Then he strayed through the smoke, dropped 
into the vacant chair at our table and pulled out 

The evening was at the period when reserve is 
thawed. One of us mentioned three Wiirzburgers 
to the waiter; the dark-haired young man acknowl- 
edged his inclusion in the order by a smile and a 
nod. I hastened to ask him a question because I 
wanted to try out a theory I had. 

^^Would you mind telling me," I began, "whether 
you are from — " 

The fist of E. Rushmore Coglan banged the table 
and I was jarred into silence. 

**Excuse me," said he, "but that's a question I 
never like to hear asked. What does it matter where 
a man is from? Is it fair to judge a man by his 
post-office address? Why, I've seen Kentuckians 
who hated whiskey, Virginians who weren't descended 
from Pocahontas, Indianians who hadn't written a 
novel, Mexicans who didn't wear velvet trousers with 
silver dollars sewed along the seams, funny English- 
men, spendthrift Yankees, cold-blooded Southerners, 
narrow-minded Westerners, and New Yorkers who 
were too busy to stop for an hour on the street to 

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe 31 

watch a one-armed grocer's clerk do up cranberries 
in paper bags. Let a man be a man and don't handi- 
cap him with the label of any section." 

*Tardon me," I said, "but my curiosity was not 
altogether an idle one. I know the South, and when 
the band plays *Dixie' I like to observe. I have 
formed the belief that the man who applauds that 
air with special violence and ostensible sectional 
loyalty is invariably a native of either Secaucus, N. 
J., or the district between Murray Hill Lyceum and 
the Harlem River, this city. I was about to put my 
opinion to the test by inquiring of this gentleman 
when you interrupted with your own — larger theory, 
I must confess." 

And now the dark-haired young man spoke to me, 
and it became evident that his mind also moved along 
its own set of grooves. 

"I should like to be a periwinkle," said he, mys- 
teriously, "on the top of a valley, and sing too- 

This was clearly too obscure, so I turned again to 

*^I've been around the world twelve times," said 
he. "I know an Esquimau in Upernavik who sends 
to Cincinnati for his neckties, and I saw a goat- 
herder in Uruguay who won a prize in a Battle 

32 The Four MiOhn 

Creek breakfast food puzzle competition. I pay rent 
on a room in Cairo, Egypt, and another in Yoke* 
hama all tlie year around. I've got slippers waiting 
for me in a tea-house in Shanghai, and I don't have 
to tell 'em how to cook my eggs in Rio Janeiro or 
Seattle. It's a mighty little old world. What's the 
use of bragging about being from the North, or the 
South, or tlie old manor house in the dale, or Euclid 
avenue, Cleveland, or Pike's Peak, or Fairfax County, 
Va., or Hooligan's Flats or any place? It'll be a 
better world when we quit being fools about some 
mildewed town or ten acres of swampland just be- 
cause we happened to be born there." 

"You seem to be a genuine cosmopolite," I said 
admiringly. "But it also seems that you would de- 
cry patriotism." 

"A relic of the stone age," declared Coglan, 
warmly. "We are all brothers — Chinamen, Eng- 
lishmen, Zulus, Patagonians and the people in the 
bend of the Kaw River. Some day all this petty 
pride in one's city or State or section or country 
will be wiped out, and we'll all be citizens of the 
world, as we ought to be." 

"But while you are wandering in foreign lands,'' 
I persisted, "do not your thoughts revert to some 
spot — some dear and — " 

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe 33 


**Nary a spot," interrupted E. R. Coglan, flip- 
pantly. *'The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk 
of matter, slightly flattened at tlie poles, and known 
as the Earth, is my abode. I've met a good many 
object-bound citizens of this country abroad. I've 
seen men from Chicago sit in a gondola in Venice 
on a moonlight night and brag about their drainage 
canal. I've seen a Southerner on being introduced 
to the King of England hand that monarch, without 
batting his eyes, the information that his grand- 
aunt on his mother's side was related by marriage 
to the Perkinses, of Charleston. I knew a New 
Yorker who was kidnapped for ransom by some 
Afghanistan bandits. His people sent over the 
money and he came back to Kabul with the agent. 
* Afghanistan ?' the natives said to him through an 
interpreter. *Well, not so slow, do you think?' *0h, 
I don't know,' says he, and he begins to tell them 
about a cab driver at Sixth avenue and Broadway. 
Those ideas don't suit me. I'm not tied down to any- 
tliing that isn't 8,000 miles in diameter. Just put 
me down as E. Rushmore Coglan, citizen of the ter- 
restrial sphere." 

My cosmopolite made a large adieu and left me, 
for he thought he saw some one through the chatter 
and smoke whom he knew. So I was left with the 

34 The Four Million 

would-be periwinkle, who was reduced to Wiirzburger 
without futher ability to voice his aspirations to 
perch, melodious, upon the summit of a valley. 

I sat reflecting upon my evident cosmopolite and 
wondering how the poet had managed to miss hinu 
He was my discovery and I believed in him. How 
was it? "The men that breed from them they traf- 
fic up and down, but cling to their cities* hem as a 
child to the mother's gown." 

Not so E. Rushmore Coglan. With the whole 
world for his — 

My meditations were interrupted by a tremendous 
noise and conflict in another part of the cafe. I 
saw above the heads of the seated patrons E. Rush- 
more Coglan and a stranger to me engaged in ter- 
rific battle. They fought between the tables like 
Titans, and glasses crashed, and men caught their 
hats up and were knocked down, and a brunette 
screamed, and a blonde began to sing **Teasing." 

My cosmopolite was sustaining the pride and rep- 
utation of the Earth when the waiters closed in on 
both combatants with their famous flying wedge 
formation and bore them outside, still resisting. 

I called McCarthy, one of the French garfons, and 
asked him the cause of the conflict. 

**The man with the red tie" (that was my cos- 

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe 35 

mopolite), said he, "got hot on account of things 
said about the bum sidewalks and water supply of 
the place he come from by the other guy." 

"Why," said I, bewildered, "that man is a citizen 
of the world — a cosmopolite. He — " 

•^Originally from Mattawamkeag, Maine, he 
said," continued McCarthy, "and he wouldn't stand 
for no knockin' the place," 


The May moon shone bright upon the private 
boarding-house of Mrs. Murphy. By reference 
to the almanac a large amount of territory 
will be discovered upon which its rays also fell. 
Spring was in its heydey, with hay fever soon to 
follow. The parks were green with new leaves and 
buyers for the Western and Southern trade. Flow- 
ers and summer-resort agents were blowing; the air 
and answers to Lawson were growing milder; hand- 
organs, fountains and pinochle were playing every- 

The windows of Mrs. Murphy's boarding-house 
were open. A group of boarders were seated on the 
high stoop upon round, flat mats like German pan- 

In one of the second-floor front windows Mrs. Mc- 
Caskey awaited her husband. Supper was cooling 
on the table. Its heat went into Mrs. McCaskey. 

At nine Mr. McCaskey came. He carried his coat 
on his arm and his pipe in his teeth; and he apolo- 
gised for disturbing the boarders on the steps as ke 


Between Rounds 37 

selected spots of stone between them on which to set 
his size 9, width Ds. 

As he opened the door of his room he received a 
surprise. Instead of the usual stove-lid or potato- 
masher for him to dodge, came only words. 

Mr. McCaskey reckoned that the benign May moon 
had softened the breast of his spouse. 

**I heard ye,** came the oral substitutes for kitch- 
enware. **Ye can apollygise to rifF-raff of the streets 
for settin' yer unhandy feet on the tails of their 
frocks, but ye'd walk on the neck of yer wife the 
length of a clothes-line without so much as a 'Kiss 
me fut,' and I'm sure it's that long from rubberin' 
out the windy for ye ai>d the victuals cold such as 
there's money to buy after drinkin' up yer wages at 
Gallegher's every Saturday evenin', and the gas man 
here twice to-day for his." 

"Woman!" said Mr. McCaskey, dashing his coat 
and hat upon a chair, "the noise of ye is an insult 
to me appetite. When ye run down politeness ye 
take the mortar from between the bricks of the 
foundations of society. 'Tis no more than exercisin' 
the acrimony of a gentleman when ye ask the dissent 
of ladies blockin' the way for stcppin' between them. 
Will ye bring the pig's face of ye out of the windy 
and see to the food?" 

38 The Four Million 

Mrs. McCaskey arose heavily and went to the 
stove. There was something in her manner that 
warned Mr. McCaskey. When the corners of her 
mouth went down suddenly like a barometer it usually 
foretold a fall of crockery and tinware. 

"Pig's face, is it?" said Mrs. McCaskey, and 
hurled a stewpan full of bacon and turnips at her 

Mr. McCaskey was no novice at repartee. He 
knew what should follow the entree. On the table 
was a roast sirloin of pork, garnished with sham- 
rocks. He retorted with this, and drew the appro- 
priate return of a bread pudding in an earthen dish. 
A hunk of Swiss cheese accurately thrown by her 
husband struck Mrs. McCaskey below one eye. 
When she replied with a well-aimed coffee-pot full 
of a hot, black, semi-fragrant liquid the battle, ac- 
cording to courses, should have ended. 

But Mr. McCaskey was no 50-cent taile d'hoter* 
Let cheap Bohemians consider coffee the end, if they 
would. Let them make that faux pas. He was 
foxier still. Finger-bowls were not beyond the com- 
pass of his experience. They were not to be had in 
the Pension Murphy; but their equivalent was at 
hand. Triumphantly he sent the granite-ware wash** 
basin at the head of his matrimonial adversary. 

Between Rounds 39 

Mrs. McCaskej dodged in time. She reached for 
a flatiron, with which, as a sort of cordial, she hoped 
to bring the gastronomical duel to a close. But a 
loud, wailing scream downstairs caused both her and 
Mr. McCaskey to pause in a sort of involuntary 

On the sidewalk at the corner of the house Police- 
man Cleary was standing with one ear upturned, 
listening to the crash of household utensils. 

** 'Tis Jawn McCaskey and his missis at it again," 
meditated the policeman. "I wonder shall I go up 
and stop the row. I will not. Married folks they 
are; and few pleasures they have. 'Twill not last 
long. Sure, they'll have to borrow more dishes to 
keep it up with." 

And just then came the loud scream bclow-stairs, 
betokening fear or dire extremity. " 'Tis probably 
the cat," said Policeman Cleary, and walked hastily 
in the other direction. 

The boarders on the steps were fluttered. Mr. 
Toomey, an insurance solicitor by birth and an in- 
vestigator by profession, went inside to analyse the 
scream. He returned with the news that Mrs. 
Murphy's little boy, Mike, was lost. Following the 
messenger, out bounced Mrs. Murphy — two hun- 
dred pounds in tears and hysterics, clutching the air 

40 The Four Million 

and howling to the sky for the loss of thirty pounds 
of freckles and miscliief. Bathos, truly; but Mr. 
Toomey sat down at the side of Miss Purdy, mil- 
linery, and their hands came together in sympathy. 
The two old maids, Misses Walsh, who complained 
every day about the noise in the halls, inquired imme- 
diately if anybody had looked behind the clock. 

Major Grigg, who sat by his fat wife on the 
top stop, arose and buttoned his coat. "The little 
one lost?" he exclaimed. "I will scour the city.'* 
His wife never allowed him out after dark. But now 
she said: "Go, Ludovic!" in a baritone voice. 
"Whoever can look upon that mother's grief without 
springing to her relief has a heart of stone." "Give 
me some thirty or — sixty cents, my love," said the 
Major. "Lost children sometimes stray far. I may 
need carfares." 

Old man Denny, hall room, fourth floor back, who 
sat on the lowest step, trying to read a paper by 
the street lamp, turned over a page to foUow up the 
article about the carpenters' strike. Mrs. Murphy 
shrieked to the moon: "Oh, ar-r-Mike, f'r Gawd's 
sake, where is me little bit av a boy?" 

"When'd ye see him last?" asked old man Denny, 
.with one eye on the report of the Building Trades 

Between Rounds 41 

**0h,'* wailed Mrs. Murphy, " 'twas yisterday, or 
maybe four hours ago! I dunno. But it's lost he 
is, me little boy Mike. He was playin' on the side- 
walk only this mornin' — or was it Wednesday? I'm 
that busy with work, 'tis hard to keep up with dates. 
But I've looked the house over from top to cellar, 
and it's gone he is. Oh, for the love av Hiven " 

Silent, grim, colossal, the big city has ever stood 
against its revilers. They call it hard as iron ; they 
say that no pulse of pity beats in its bosom; they 
compare its streets with lonely forests and deserts 
of lava. But beneath the hard crust of the lobster 
is found a delectable and luscious food. Perhaps a 
different simile would have been wiser. Still, no* 
body should take offence. We would call no one a 
lobster without good and sufficient claws. 

No calamity so touches the common heart of hu- 
manity as does the straying of a little cliild. Their 
feet are so uncertain and feeble; the ways are so 
steep and strange. 

Major Griggs hurried down to the comer, and up 
the avenue into Billy's place. **Gimme a rye-high," 
be said to the servitor. ^^Haven't seen a bow-legged, 
dirty-faced little devil of a six-year-old lost kid 
around ^here anjmrhcre, have you?" 

Mr. Toomey retained Miss Purdy's hand on the 

42 The Four Million 

steps. "Think of that dear little babe," said Miss 
Purdy, "lost from his mother's side — perhaps al- 
ready fallen beneath the iron hoofs of galloping 
steeds — oh, isn't it dreadful?" 

"Ain't that right?" agreed Mr. Toomey, squeez- 
ing her hand. "Say I start out and help look for 
um !" 

"Perhaps," said Miss Purdy, "you should. But, 
oh, Mr. Toomey, you are so dashing — so reckless — 
suppose in your enthusiasm some accident should be- 
fall you, then what — " 

Old man Denny read on about the arbitration 
agreement, with one finger on the lines. 

In the second floor front Mr. and Mrs. McCaskey 
came to the window to recover their second wind. 
Mr. McCaskey was scooping turnips out of his vest 
with a crooked forefinger, and his lady was wiping 
an eye that the salt of the roast pork had not bene- 
fited. They heard the outcry below, and thrust their 
heads out of the window. 

** 'Tis little Mike is lost," said Mrs. McCaskey, in 
a hushed voice, "the beautiful, little, trouble-making 
angel of a gossoon !" 

**The bit of a boy mislaid?" said Mr. McCaskey, 
leaning out of the window. "Why, now, that's bad 

Between Rounds 48 

enough, entirely. The childer, they be different. If 
'twas a woman Fd be willin', for they leave peace be- 
hind 'em when they go." 

Disregarding the thrust, Mrs. McCaskey caught 
her husband's arm. 

**Jawn," she said, sentimentally, "Missis Mur- 
phy's little bye is lost. 'Tis a great city for losing 
little boys. Six years old he was. Jawn, 'tis the 
same age our little bye would have been if we had had 
one six years ago." 

"We never did," said Mr. McCaskey, lingering 
with the fact. 

"But if we had, Jawn, think what sorrow would 
be in our hearts this night, with our little Phelan 
run away and stolen in the city nowheres at all." 

^*Ye talk foolishness," said Mr. McCaskey. 
" 'Tis Pat he would be named, after me old father in 

"Ye lie!" said Mrs. McCaskey, without anger. 
"Me brother was worth tin dozen bog-trotting Mc- 
Caskeys. After him would the bye be named." She 
leaned over the window-sill and looked down at the 
hurrying and bustle below. 

"Jawn," said Mrs. McCaskey, softly, *Tm sorry 
I was hasty wid ye." 

44 The Four Million 

** 'Twas hasty puddin', as ye say,*' said her hus- 
band, "and hurry-up turnips and get-a-move-on-ye 
coffee. Twas what ye could call a quick lunch, all 
right, and tell no lie." 

Mrs, McCaskey slipped her arm inside her hus- 
band's and took his rough hand in hers. 

"Listen at the cryin' of poor Mrs. Murphy," she 
said. " 'Tis an awful thing for a bit of a bye to be 
lost in this great big city. If 'twas our little Fhelan, 
Jawn, I'd be breakin' me heart." 

Awkwardly Mr. McCaskey withdrew his hand. 
But he laid it around the nearing shoulder of his 

'Tis foolishness, of course," said he, roughly, 
but rd be cut up some meself if our little — Pat 
was kidnapped or anything. But there never was 
any childer for us. Sometimes I've been ugly and 
hard with ye, Judy. Foi^et it." 

They leaned together, and looked down at the 
heart-drama being acted below. 

Long they sat thus. People surged along the side- 
walk, crowding, questioning, filling the air with 
rumours, and inconsequent surmises. Mrs. Murphy 
ploughed back and forth in their midst, like a soft 
mountain down which plunged an audible cataract 
of tears. Couriers came and went. 


Between Rounds 45 

Loud Yoices and a renewed uproar were raised in 
front of the boarding-house. 

*'What's up now, Judy?" asked Mr. McCaskey. 

" Tis Missis Murphy's voice," said Mrs. McCas- 
key, harking. "She says she's after finding little 
Mike asleep behind the roll of old linoleum under the 
bed in her room." 

Mr. McCaskey laughed loudly. 

**That's yer Phelan," he shouted, sardonically. 
**Divil a bit would a Pat have done that trick. If 
the bye we never had is strayed and stole, by the 
powers, call him Phelan, and see him hide out under 
the bed like a mangy pup." 

Mrs. McCaskey arose heavily, and went toward the 
dish closet, with the corners of her mouth drawn 

Policeman Cleary came back around the corner as 
the crowd dispersed. Surprised, he upturned an ear 
toward the McCaskey apartment, where the crash of 
irons and chxnaware and the ring of hurled kitchen 
utensils seemed as loud as before. Policeman Cleary 
took out his timepiece. 

**By the deported snakes!" he exclaimed, **Jawn 
McCaskey and his lady have been fightin' for an 
hour and a quartei by the watch. The missis could 
give him forty pounds weight. Strength to his arm.^' 

46 The Four Million 

Policeman Cleary strolled back around the comer. 

Old man Denny folded his paper and hurried up 
the steps just as Mrs. Murphy was about to lock the 
door for the night. 


First Mrs. Parker would show you the double 
parlours. You would not dare to interrupt her 
description of their advantages and of the merits 
of the gentleman who had occupied them for eight 
years. Then you would manage to stammer forth 
the confession that you were neither a doctor nor a 
dentist. Mrs. Parker's manner of receiving the ad- 
mission was such that you could never afterward 
entertain the same feeling toward your parents, who 
had neglected to train you up in one of the profes- 
sions that fitted Mrs. Parker's parlours. 

Next you ascended one flight of stairs and looked 
at the second-floor-back at $8. Convinced by her 
second-floor manner that it was worth the $12 that 
Mr. Toosenberry always paid for it until he left to 
take charge of his brother's orange plantation in 
Florida near Palm Beach, where Mrs. Mclntyre al- 
ways spent the winters that had the double front 
room with private bath, you managed to babble that 
you wanted something still cheaper. 

If you survived Mrs. Parker's scorn, you were 


48 The Four Million 

taken to look at Mr. Skidder's large hall room on the 
third floor. Mr. Skidder's room was not vacant. 
He wrote plays and smoked cigarettes in it all day 
long. But every room-hrmter was made to visit his 
room to admire the lambrequins. After each visit, 
Mr. Skidder, from the fright caused by possible evic- 
tion, would pay something on his rent. 

Then — oh, then — if you still stood on one foot, 
with your hot hand clutching the three moist dol- 
lars in your pocket, and hoarsely proclaimed your 
hideous and culpable poverty, nevermore would Mrs. 
Parker be cicerone of yours. She would honk loudly 
the word "Clara," she would show you her back, and 
march downstairs. Then Clara, the coloured maid, 
would escort you up the carpeted ladder that served 
for the fourth flight, and show you the Skylight 
Room. It occupied 7x8 feet of floor space at the 
middle of the hall. On each side of it was a dark 
lumber closet or storeroom. 

In it was an iron cot, a washstand and a chair. 
A shelf was the dresser. Its four bare walls seemed 
to close in upon you like the sides of a coffin. Your 
hand crept to your throat, you gasped, you looked 
up as from a well — and breathed once more. 
Throu^ the glass of the little skylight you saw a 
square of blue infinity. 


The Skylight Room 49 

'Two dollars, suh," Clara would say in her half- 
contemptuous, half-Tuskegeenial tones. 

One day Miss Leeson came hunting for a room. 
She carried a typewriter made to be lugged around 
by a much larger lady. She was a very little girl, 
with eyes and hair that had kept on growing after 
she had stopped and that always looked as if they 
were saying : **Goodness me ! Why didn't you keep 
up with us?*' 

Mrs. Parker showed her the double parlours. "In 
this closet,'' she said, "one could keep a skeleton or 
anesthetic or coal — " 

^'But I am neither a doctor nor a dentist," said 
Miss Leeson, with a shiver. 

Mrs. Parker gave her the incredulous, pitjring, 
sneering, icy stare that she kept for those who failed 
to qualify as doctors or dentists, and led the way to 
the second floor back. 

"Eight dollars?" said Miss Leeson. *T)ear me! 
I'm not Hetty if I do look green. I'm just a poor 
little working girl. Show me something higher and 

Mr. Skidder jumped and strewed the floor with 
cigarette stubs at the rap on his door. 

"Excuse me, Mr. Skidder," said Mrs. Parker, 
with her donon's smile at his pale looks. ^^I didn't 

50 The Four Million 

know you were in. I asked the lady to have a look 
at your lambrequins." 

**They're too lovely for anything," said Miss Lee- 
son, smiling in exactly the way the angels do. 

After they had gone Mr. Skidder got very busy 
erasing the tall, black-haired heroine from his latest 
(unproduced) play and inserting a small, roguish 
one with heavy, bright hair and vivacious features. 

"Anna Held'll jump at it," said Mr. Skidder to 
himself, putting his feet up against the lambrequins 
and disappearing in a cloud of smoke like an aerial 

Presently the tocsin call of "Clara!" sounded to 
the world the state of Miss Leeson's purse, A dark 
goblin seized her, mounted a Stygian stairway, 
thrust her into a vault with a glimmer of light in its 
top and muttered the menacing and cabalistic words 
"Two dollars !" 

"I'll take it!" sighed Miss Leeson, sinking down 
upon the squeaky iron bed. 

Every day Miss Leeson went out to work. At 
night she brought home papers with handwriting on 
them and made copies with her typewriter. Some- 
times she had no work at night, and then she would 
sit on the steps of the high stoop with the other 
roomers. Miss Leeson was not intended for a sky- 

The Skylight Room 51 

light room when the plans were drawn for her crea- 
tion. She was gay-hearted and full of tender, whim- 
sical fancies. Once she let Mr. Skidder read to her 
three acts of his great (unpublished) comedy, **It's 
No Kid; or, The Heir of the Subway." 

There was rejoicing among the gentlemen room- 
ers whenever Miss Leeson had time to sit on the 
steps for an hour or two. But Miss Longnecker, 
the tall blonde who taught in a public school and 
said, "Well, really!" to everything you said, sat on 
the top step and sniffed. And Miss Dom, who shot 
at the moving ducks at Coney every Sunday and 
worked in a department store, sat on the bottom step 
and sniffed. Miss Leeson sat on the middle step 
and the men would quickly group around her. 

Especially Mr. Skidder, who had cast her in his 
mind for the star part in a private, romantic (un- 
spoken) drama in real life. And especially Mr. 
Hoover, who was forty-five, fat, flush and foolish. 
And especially very young Mr. Evans, who set up 
a hollow cough to induce her to ask him to leave 
off cigarettes. The men voted her "the funniest 
and j oiliest ever," but the sniffs on the top step and 
the lower step were implacable. 

• ••••••• 

I pray you let the drama halt while Chorus stalks 

62 The Four Million 

to the footlights and drops an epicedian tear upon 
the fatness of Mr. Hoover. Tune the pipes to the 
tragedy of tallow, the bane of bulk, the calamity 
of corpulence. Tried out, Falstaff might have ren- 
(fered more romance to the ton than would have 
Romeo's rickety ribs to the ounce. A lover may 
sigh, but he must not puff. To the train of Momus 
are the fat men remanded. In vain beats the faith- 
fullest heart above a 5£-inch belt. Avaunt, Hoover ! 
Hoover, forty-five, flush and foolish, might carry 
off Helen herself; Hoover, forty-five, flush, foolish 
and fat is meat for perdition. There was Hever a 
chance for you. Hoover. 

As Mrs. Parker's roomers sat thus one summer's 
evening. Miss Leeson looked up into the firmament 
and cried with her little gay laugh: 

**Why, there's Billy Jackson ! I can see him from 
down here, too." 

All looked up — some at the windows of sky- 
scrapers, some casting about for an airship, Jack- 

"It's that star," explained Miss Leeson, pointing 
with a tiny finger. '^Not the big one that twinkles 
— the steady blue one near it. I can see it every 
night through my skylight. I named It Billy 

Th€ SkyUgkt Room 53 

^'Wdl, reaUjr said Miss Longnecker. ^'I didn't 
know joa were an astronomer. Miss LeesiMi.'' 

^h, jesy" said the smaU star gazer, ^I know as 
mach as any of them aboot the style of sleeves 
they're going to wear next fall in Mars." 

**Well, really P said Miss Longnecker. **The star 
you refer to is Gamma, of the constellation Cassio- 
peia. It is nearly of the second magnitude, and its 
meridian passage is — " 

"Oh," said the very young Mr. Evans, "I think 
Billy Jackson is a much better name for it." 

"Same here," said Mr. Hoover, loudly breathing 
defiance to Miss Longnecker. ^^I think Miss Leeson 
has just as much right to name stars as any of those 
old astrologers had." 

"Well, really P' said Miss Longnecker. 

**I wonder whether it's a shooting star," remarked 
Miss Dom. "I hit nine ducks and a rabbit out of 
ten in the gallery at Coney Sunday." 

**He doesn't show up very well from down here," 
said Miss Leeson. **You ought to see him from my 
room. You know you can see stars even in the day- 
time from the bottom of a well. At night my room 
is like the shaft of a coal mine, and it makes Billy 
Jackson look like the big diamond pin that Night 
fastens her kimono with." 

54 The Four Million 

There came a time after that when Miss Leeson 
brought no formidable papers home to copy. And 
when she went out in the morning, instead of working, 
she went from office to office and let her heart melt 
away in the drip of cold refusals transmitted through 
insolent office boys. This went on. 

There came an evening when she wearily climbed 
Mrs. Parker's stoop at the hour when she always re- 
turned from her dinner at the restaurant. But she 
had had no dinner. 

As she stepped into the hall Mr. Hoover met her 
and seized his chance. He asked her to marry him, 
and his fatness hovered above her like an avalanche. 
She dodged, and caught the balustrade. He tried 
for her hand, and she raised it and smote him weakly 
in the face. Step by step she went up, dragging 
herself by the railing. She passed Mr. Skidder's 
door as he was red-inking a stage direction for Myr- 
tle Delorme (Miss Leeson) in his (unaccepted) 
comedy, to "pirouette across stage from L to the 
side of the Count." Up the carpeted ladder she 
crawled at last and opened the door of the skylight 

She was too weak to light the lamp or to undress. 
She fell upon the iron cot, her fragile body scarcely 
hollowing the worn springs. And in that Erebus of 

The Skylight Room 55 

a room she slowly raised her heavy eyelids, and 

For Billy Jackson was shining down on her, calm 
and bright and constant through the skylight. 
There was no world about her. She was sunk in a 
pit of blackness, with but that small square of pallid 
light framing the star that she had so whimsically 
and oh, so ineffectually named. Miss Longnecker 
must be right; it was Gamma, of the constellation 
Cassiopeia, and not Billy Jackson. And yet she 
could not let it be Gamma. 

As she lay on her back, she tried twice to raise her 
arm. The third time she got two thin fingers to her 
lips and blew a kiss out of the black pit to Billy 
Jackson. Her arm fell back limply. 

**Good-bye, Billy,'* she murmured faintly. 
**You're millions of miles away and you won't even 
twinkle once. But you kept where I could see you 
most of the time up there when there wasn't any- 
thing else but darkness to look at, didn't you? . . . 
Millions of miles. . . . Good-bye, Billy Jackson." 

Clara, the coloured maid, found the door locked 
at 10 the next day, and they forced it open. Vine- 
gar, and the slapping of wrists and burnt feathers 
proving of no avail, some one ran to 'phone for an 

56 The Four Milium 

In due time it backed up to the door with much 
gong-clanging, and the capable young medico, in his 
white linen coat, ready, active, confident, with his 
smooth face half debonair, half grim, danced Msp the 

"Ambulance call to 49," he said briefly. **What's 
the trouble?" 

"Oh, yes, doctor," sniiTed Mrs. Parker, as though 
her trouble that there should be trouble in the house 
was the greater. "I can't think what can be the 
matter with her. Nothing we could do would bring 
her to. It's a young woman, a Miss Elsie — yes, a 
Miss Elsie Leeson. Never before in my house — ^^ 

"What room?" cried the doctor in a terrible voiee, 
to which Mrs. Parker was a stranger. 

"The skylight room. It — " 

Evidently the ambulance doctor was familiar with 
the location of skylight rooms. He was gone up the 
stairs, four at a time. Mrs. Parker followed slowly, 
as her dignity demanded. 

On the first landing she met him coming back 
bearing the astronomer in his arms. He stopped and 
let loose the practised scalpel of his tongue, not 
loudly. Gradually Mrs. Parker crumpled as a stiff 
garment that slips down from a nail. Ever after- 
ward there remained crumples in her mind and body. 

The Skylight Room 57 

Sometimes her curious roomers would ask her what 
the doctor said to her. 

'*Let that be," she would answer. "If I can get 
forgiveness for having heard it I will be satisfied." 

The ambulance physician strode with his burden 
through the pack of hounds that follow the curiosity 
chase, and even they fell back along the sidewalk 
abashed, for his face was that of one who bears his 
own dead. 

They noticed that he did not lay down upon the 
bed prepared for it in the ambulance the form that 
he carried, and all that he said was: "Drive like 
h — 1, Wilson," to the driver. 

That is all. Is it a story ? In the next morning's 
paper I saw a little news item, and the last sentence 
of it may help you (as it helped me) to weld the 
incidents together. 

It recounted the reception into Bellevue Hospital 
of a young woman who had been removed from No. 

49 East street, suffering from debility induced 

by starvation. It concluded with these words: 

"Dr. William Jackson, the ambulance physician 
who attended the case, says the patient will recover. 



When one loves one's Art no service seems too 

That is our premise. This story shall draw a 
conclusion from it, and show at the same time that 
the premise is incorrect. Tliat will bo a new thing 
in logic, and a feat in story-telling somewhat older 
than the great wall of China. 

Joe Larrabee came out of the post-oak flats of the 
Middle W^est pulsing with a genius for pictorial art. 
At six he drew a picture of the town pump with a 
prominent citizen passing it hastily. This effort was 
framed and hung in the drug store window by the 
side of the ear of com with an uneven number of 
rows. At twenty he left for New York with a flowing 
necktie and a capital tied up somewhat closer. 

Delia Caruthers did things in six octaves so prom- 
isingly in a pine-tree village in the South that her 
relatives chipped in enough in her chip hat for her 
to go "North" and "finish." They could not see 
her f — , but' that is our story. 

Joe and Delia met in an atelier where a number 

of art and music students had gathered to discuss 


A Service of Love 59 

chiaroscuro, Wagner, music, Rembrandt's works, 
pictures, Waldteufel, wall paper, Chopin and Oolong. 

Joe and Delia became enamoured one of the other, 
or each of the other, as you please, and in a short 
time were marrried — for (see above), when one loves 
one's Art no service seems too hard. 

Mr. and Mrs. Larrabee began housekeeping in a 
flat. It was a lonesome flat — something like the A 
sharp way down at the left-hand end of the key- 
board. And they were happy; for they had their 
Art, and they had each other. And my advice to the 
rich young man would be — sell all thou hast, and 
give it to the poor — janitor for the privilege of liv- 
ing in a flat with your Art and your Delia. 

Flat-dwellers shall indorse my dictum that theirs 
is the only true happiness. If a home is happy it 
cannot fit too close — let the dresser collapse and be- 
come a billiard table; let the mantel turn to a row- 
ing machine, the escritoire to a spare bedchamber, 
the washstand to an upright piano; let the four 
walls come together, If they will, so 3^ou and your 
Delia are between. But if home be the other kind, 
let it be wide and long — enter you at the Golden 
Gate, hang your hat on Hatteras, your cape on Cape 
Horn and go out by the Labrador. 

Joe was painting in the class of the great Magis- 

60 The Four Million 

ter — you know his fame. His fees are high; his 
lessons are light — his high-lights have brought him 
renown. Delia was studying under Rosenstock — 
you know his repute as a disturber of the piano 

They were mighty happy as long as their money 
lasted. So is every — but I will not be cynical. 
Their aims were very clear and defined. Joe was to 
become capable very soon of turning out pictures 
that old gentlemen with thin side-whiskers and thick 
pocketbooks would sandbag one another in his studio 
for the privilege of buying. Delia was to become 
familiar and then contemptuous with Music, so that 
when she saw the orchestra seats and boxes unsold 
she could have sore throat and lobster in a private 
dining-room and refuse to go on the stage. 

But ilie best, in my opinion, was the home life in 
the little flat — the ardent, voluble chats after the 
day's study ; Ihe cozy dinners and fresh, light break- 
fasts ; the interchange of ambitions — ambitions in- 
terwoven each with the other's or else inconsiderable 
' — the mutual help and inspiration ; and — overlook 
my artlessness — stuffed olives and cheese sandwiches 
at 11 p. :»r. 

But after a while Art flagged. It sometimes does, 

A Service of Love 61 

even if some switchman doesn't flag it. Everything 
going out and nothing coming in, as the vulgarians 
say. Money was lacking to pay Mr. Magister and 
Herr Rosenstock their prices. When one loves one's 
Art no service seems too hard. So, Delia said she 
must give music lessons to keep the chafing dish 

For two or three days she went out canvassing 
for pupils. One evening she came home elated. 

*'Joe, dear," she said, gleefully, "I've a pupil. 
And, oh, the loveliest people. General — General A. 
B. Pinkney's daughter — on Seventy-first street. 
Such a splendid house, Joe — you ought to see the 
front door! Byzantine I think you would call it. 
And inside! Oh, Joe, I never saw anything like it 

**My pupil is his daughter Clementina. I dearly 
love her already. She's a delicate thing — dresses 
always in white; and the sweetest, simplest man- 
ners! Only eighteen years old. I'm to give three 
lessons a week; and, just think, Joe! $5 a lesson. 
I don't mind it a bit; for when I get two or three 
more pupils I can resume my lessons with Herr 
Rosenstock. Now, smooth out that wrinkle between 
your brows, dear, and let's have a nice supper.^ 


62 The Four Million 

"That's all right for you, Dele," said Joe, attack- 
ing a can of peas with a carving knife and a hatchet, 
*^but how about me? Do you think I'm going to 
let you hustle for wages while I philander in the 
regions of high art? Not by the bones of Ben- 
venuto Cellini! I guess I can sell papers or lay 
cobblestones, and bring in a dollar or two." 

Delia came and hung about his neck. 

*'Joe, dear, you are silly. You must keep on at 
your studies. It is not as if I had quit my music 
and gone to work at something else. While I teach 
I learn. I am always with my music. And we can 
live as happily as millionaires on $16 a week. You 
mustn't think of leaving Mr. Magister." 

"All right," said Joe, reaching for the blue scal- 
loped vegetable dish. "But I hate for you to be 
giving lessons. It isn't Art. But you're a trump 
and a dear to do it." 

"When one loves one's Art no service seems too 
hard," said Delia. 

"Magister praised the sky in that sketch I made 
in the park," said Joe. "And Tinkle gave me per- 
mission to hang two of them in his window. I may 
sell one if the right kind of a moneyed idiot sees 


A Serxnce of Love 68 

I'm sure you will," said Delia, sweetly. *'And 
now let's be thankful for Gen. Pinkney and this veal 

During all of the next week the Larrabees had an 
early breakfast. Joe was enthusiastic about some 
morning-efFect sketches he was doing in Central Park, 
and Delia packed him oiF breakfasted, coddled, 
praised and kissed at 7 o'clock. Art is an engaging 
mistress. It was most times 7 o'clock when he re- 
turned in the evening. 

At the end of the week Delia, sweetly proud but 
languid, triumphantly tossed three five-dollar bills 
on the 8x10 (inches) centre table of the 8x10 (feet) 
flat parlour. 

"Sometimes," she said, a little wearily, "Clem- 
entina tries me. I'm afraid she doesn't practise 
enough, and I have to Jell her the same things so 
often. And then she always dresses entirely in 
white, and that does get monotonous. But Gen. 
Pinkney is the dearest old man! I wish you could 
know him, Joe. He comes in sometimes when I am 
with Clementina at the piano — he is a widower, you 
know — and stands there pulling his white goatee. 
*And how are the semiquavers and the demisemi- 
quavers progressing?' he always asks. 

64 The Four Million 

"I wish you could see the wainscoting in that 
drawing-room, Joe ! And those Astrakhan rug por- 
tieres. And Clementina has such a funny little 
cough. I hope she is stronger than she looks. Oh, 
I really am getting attached to her, she is so gentle 
and high bred. Gen. Pinkney's brother was once 
Minister to Bolivia." 

And then Joe, with the air of a Monte Cristo, 
drew forth a ten, a five, a two and a one — all legal 
tender notes — and laid them beside Delia's earn- 

"Sold that watercolour of the obelisk to a man 
from Peoria," he announced overwhelmingly. 

"Don't joke with me," said Delia — "not from 
Peoria 1" 

"All the way. I wish you could see him, Dele. 
Fat man with a woollen muffler and a quill tooth- 
pick. He saw the sketch in Tinkle's window and 
thought it was a windmill at first. He was game, 
though, and bought it anyhow. He ordered an- 
other — an oil sketch of the Lackawanna freight de- 
pot — to take back with him. Music lessons ! Oh, 
I guess Art is still in it." 

"I'm so glad you've kept on," said Delia, heartily. 
"You're bound to win, dear. Thirty-three dollars! 

A Service of Love 65 

We never had so much to spend before. We'll have 
ojsters to-night." 

'*And filet mignon with champignons," said Joe. 
"Where is the olive fork?" 

On the next Saturday evening Joe reached home 
fir^t. He spread his $18 on the parlour table and 
■washed what seemed to be a great deal of dark paint 
from his hands. 

Half an hour later Delia arrived, her right hand 
tied up in a shapeless bundle of wraps and band- 

*'How is this?" asked Joe after the usual greet- 
ings. Delia laughed, but not very jo3'ously. 

"Clementina," she explained, "insisted upon a 
Welsh rabbit after her lesson. She is such a queer 
girl. Welsh rabbits at 5 in the afternoon. The 
General was there. You should have seen him run 
for the chafing dish, Joe, just as if there wasn't a 
servant in the house. I know Clementina isn't in 
good health ; she is so nervous. In serving the rabbit 
she spilled a great lot of it, boiling hot, over my 
hand and wrist. It hurt awfully, Joe. And the dear 
girl was so sorry ! But Gen. Pinkney ! — Joe, that 
old man nearly went distracted. He rushed down- 
stairs and sent somebody — they said the furnace 

66 The Four Million 

man or somebody in the basement — out to a drug 
store for some oil and things to bind it up with. It 
doesn't hurt so much now." 

"What's this?" asked Joe, taking the hand ten- 
derly and pulling at some white strands beneath the 

"It's something soft," said Delia, "that had oil 
on it. Oh, Joe, did you sell another sketch.'^" she 
had seen the money on the table. 

"Did I?" said Joe; "just ask the man from 
Peoria. He got liis depot to-day, and he isn't sure 
but he thinks he wants another parkscape and a view 
on the Hudson. What time this afternoon did you 
burn your hand. Dele?" 

"Five o'clock, I think," said Dele, plaintively. 
*^The iron — I mean the rabbit came oflF the fire about 
that time. You ought to have seen Gen. Pinkney, 
Joe, when — " 

"Sit down here a moment. Dele," said Joe. He 
drew her to the couch, sat beside her and put his arm 
across her shoulders. 

"What have you been doing for the last two weeks, 
Dele?" he asked. 

She braved it for a moment or two ^ith an eye 
full of love and stubbornness, and murmured ^ phrase 
or two vaguely of Gen. Pinkney; but at length 

A Service of Love 67 

down went her head and out came the truth and 

"I couldn't get any pupils,'' she confessed. "And 
I couldn't bear to have you give up your lessons; 
and I got a place ironing shirts in that big Twenty- 
fourth street laundry. And I think I did very well 
to make up both General Pinkney and Clementina, 
don't you, Joe? And when a girl in the laundry set 
down a hot iron on my hand this afternoon I was all 
the way home making up that story about the Welsh 
rabbit. You're not angry, are 3'ou, Joe? And if 
I hadn't got the work you mightn't have sold your 
sketches to that man from Peoria." 

"He wasn't from Peoria," said Joe, slowly. 

*Well, it doesn't matter where he was from. How 
clever you are, Joe — and — kiss me, Joe — and 
what made you ever suspect that I wasn't giving 
music lessons to Clementina?" 

"I didn't," said Joe, "until to-night. And I 
wouldn't have then, only I sent up this cotton waste 
and oil from the engine-room this afternoon for a 
girl upstairs who had her hand burned with a smooth- 
ing-iron. I've been firing the engine in that laundry 
for the last two weeks." 

"And then you didn't — " 

•*My purchaser from Peoria," said Joe, "and Gen. 

68 The Four Million 

Pinkney are both creations of the same art — but 
you wouldn't call it either painting or music." 
And then they both laughed, and Joe began: 
"When one loves one's Art no service seems — " 
But Delia stopped him with her hand on his lips. 
"No," she said— "just 'When one loves.'" 


Every Saturday night the Clover Leaf Social 
Club gave a hop in the hall of the Give and Take 
Athletic Association on the East Eide. In order to 
attent? one of these dances you must be a member 
of the Give and Take — or, if you belong to the 
division that starts off with the right foot in waltz- 
ing, you must work in Rhinegold's paper-box fac- 
tory. Still, any Clover Leaf was privileged to escort 
or be escorted by an outsider to a single dance. But 
mostly each Give and Take brought tlie paper-box 
girl that he affected; and few strangers could boast 
of having shaken a foot at the regular hops. 

Maggie Toole, on account of her dull eyes, broad 
mouth and left-handed stvle of footwork in the two- 
step, went to the dances with Anna McCarty and 
her ''fellow." Anna and Maggie worked side by 
side in the factory, and were the greatest chums ever. 
So Anna always made Jimmy Burns take her by 
Maggie's house every Saturday night so that her 
friend could go to the dance with them. 

The Give and Take Athletic Association lived up 


(70 The Four Million 

to its name. The hall of the association in Orchard 
street was fitted out with muscle-making inventions. 
With the fibres thus builded up the members were 
wont to engage the police and rival social and ath- 
letic organisations in joyous combat. Between these 
more serious occupations the Saturday night hops 
with the paper-box factory girls came as a refining 
influence and as an eflScient screen. For sometimes 
the tip went 'round, and if you were among the elect 
that tiptoed up the dark back stairway you might 
see as neat and satisfying a little welter-weight af- 
fair to a finish as ever happened inside the ropes. 

On Saturdays Rhinegold's paper-box factory 
closed at 3 p. m. On one such afternoon Anna and 
Maggie walked homeward together. At Maggie's 
door Anna said, as usual: "Be ready at seven, 
sharp, Mag; and Jimmy and me'll come by for you." 

But what was this? Instead of the customary 
humble and grateful thanks from the non-escorted 
one there was to be perceived a high-poised head, a 
pridcful dimpling at the corners of a broad mouth, 
and almost a sparkle in a dull brown eye. 

"Thanks, Anna," said Maggie; "but you and 
Jimmy ncodn't bother to-night. I've a gentleman 
friend that's coming 'round to escort me to the hop." 

The comely Anna pounced upon her friend, shook 

The Coming-out of Maggie 71 

ber, chided and beseeched her. Maggie Toole catch 
a fellow! Plain, dear, loyal, unattractive Maggie, 
so sweet as a chum, so unsought for a two-step or a 
moonlit bench in the little park. How was it? 
When did it happen? Who was it? 

"You'll see to-night," said Maggie, flushed with 
the wine of the first grapes she had gathered in 
Cupid's vineyard. "He's swell all right. He's two 
inches taller than Jimmy, and an up-to-date dresser. 
I'll introduce him, Anna, just as soon as we get to 
the hall." 

Anna and Jimmy were among the first Clover 
Leafs to arrive that evening. Anna's eyes were 
brightly fixed upon the door of the hall to catch the 
first glimpse of her friend's "catch." 

At 8:30 Miss Toole swept into the hall with her 
escort. Quickly her triumphant eye discovered her 
chum under the wing of her faithful Jimmy. 

"Oh, gee 1" cried Anna, "Mag ain't made a hit — 
oh, no! Swell fellow? well, I guess! Style? Look 
at 'um." 

"Go as far as you like," said Jimmy, with sand- 
paper in his voice. "Cop him out if you want him. 
These new guys always win out with the push. Don't 
mind me. He don't squeeze all the limes, I guess. 

72 The Four Million 

*'Shut up, Jimmy. You know what I mean. Fm 
glad for Mag. First fellow she ever had. Oh, here 
they come." 

Across the floor Maggie sailed like a coquettish 
yacht convoyed by a stately cruiser. And truly, 
her companion justified the encomiums of the faithful 
chum. He stood two inches taller than the average 
Give and Take athlete ; his dark hair curled ; his eyes 
and his teeth flashed whenever he bestowed his fre- 
quent smiles. The young men of the Clover Leaf 
Club pinned not their faith to the graces of person 
as much as they did to its prowess, its achievements 
in hand-to-hand conflicts, and its preservation from 
the legal duress that constantly menaced it. The 
member of the association who would bind a paper- 
box maiden to his conquering chariot scorned to 
employ Beau Brummel airs. They were not cpnsid- 
ered honourable methods of warfare. The swell- 
ing biceps, the coat straining at its buttons over the 
chest, the air of conscious conviction of the super- 
eminence of the male in the cosmogony of creation, 
even a calm display of bow legs as subduing and 
enchanting agents in the gentle tourneys of Cupid 
— these were the approved arms and ammunition of 
the Clover Leaf gallants. They viewed, then, the 

The Coming-out of Maggie 73 

genuflexions and alluring poses of this visitor with 
their chins at a new angle. 

"A friend of mine> Mr. Terry O^SuUivan,*' was 
Maggie's formula of introduction. She led him 
around the room, presenting him to each new-arriv- 
ing Clover Leaf. Almost was she pretty now, with 
the unique luminosity in her eyes that comes to a girl 
with her first suitor and a kitten with its first mouse. 

**Maggie Toole's got a feUow at last," was the 
word that went round among the paper-box girls. 
**Pipe Mag's floor-walker" — thus the Give and 
Takes expressed their indifferent contempt. 

Usually at the weekly hops Maggie kept a spot 
on the wall warm with her back. She felt and 
showed so much gratitude whenever a self-sacrificing 
partner invited her to dance that his pleasure was 
cheapened and diminished. She had even grown 
used to noticing Anna joggle the reluctant Jimmy 
with her elbow as a signal for him to invite her chum 
to walk over his feet through a two-step. 

But to-night the pumpkin had turned to a coach 
and six. Terry O'Sullivan was a victorious Prince 
Charming, and Maggie Toole winged her first but- 
terfly flight. And though our tropes of fairyland 
be mixed with those of entomology they shall not spill 

74 The Four Million 

one drop of ambrosia from the rose-crowned melody 
of Maggie's one perfect night. 

The girls besieged her for introduction to her 
*'feIlow." The Clover Leaf young men, after two 
years of blindness, suddenly perceived charms in 
Miss Toole. They flexed their compelling muscles 
before her and bespoke her for the dance. 

Thus she scored; but to Terry O'SuUivan the 
honours of the evening fell thick and fast. He shook 
his curls; he smiled and went easily through the 
seven motions for acquiring grace in your own room 
before an open window ten minutes each day. He 
danced like a faun; he introduced manner and style 
and atmosphere ; his words came trippingly upon his 
tongue, and — he waltzed twice in succession with the 
paper-box girl that Dempsey Donovan brought. 

Dempsey was the leader of the association. He 
wore a dress suit, and could chin the bar twice with 
one hand. He was one of "Big Mike" O'Sullivan's 
lieutenants, and was never troubled by trouble. No 
cop dared to arrest him. Whenever he broke a push- 
cart man's head or shot a member of the Heinrick 
B. Sweeney Outing and Literary Association in tiie 
kneecap, an officer would drop around and say: 

"The Cap'n 'd like to see ye a few minutes round 
to the office whin ye have time, Dempsey, me boy."' 

The Coming-out of Maggie 75 

But there would be sundry gentlemen there with 
large gold fob chains and black cigars; and some- 
body would tell a funny story, and then Dempsey 
would go back and work half an hour with the six- 
pound dumbbells. So, doing a tight-rope act on a 
"^ire stretched across Niagara was a safe terpsicho- 
rean performance compared with waltzing twice with 
Dempsey Donovan's paper-box girl. At 10 o'clock 
the jolly round face of "Big Mike" O'Sullivan 
shone at the door for five minutes upon the scene. 
He always looked in for five minutes, smiled at the 
girls and handed out real perfectos to the delighted 

Dempsey Donovan was at his elbow instantly, talk- 
ing rapidly. "Big Mike" looked carefully at the 
dancers, smiled, shook his head and departed. 

The music stopped. The dancers scattered to the 
chairs along the walls. Terry O'Sullivan, with his 
entrancing bow, relinquished a pretty girl in blue 
to her partner and started back to find Maggie. 
Dempsey intercepted him in the middle of the floor. 

Some fine instinct that Rome must have be- 
queathed to us caused nearly every one to turn and 
look at them — there was a subtle feeling that two 
gladiators had met in the arena. Two or three Give 
and Takes with tight coat sleeves drew nearer. r 

7<J The Four Million 

**One moment, Mr. O'Sullivan," said Dempsey. 
"I hope you're enjoying yourself. Where did you 
say you lived?*' 

The two gladiators were well matched. Dempsey 
had, perhaps, ten pounds of weight to give away. 
The O'SuUivan had breadth with quickness. Demp- 
sey had a glacial eye, a dominating slit of a mouth, 
an indestructible jaw, a complexion like a belle's and 
the coolness of a champion. The visitor showed 
more fire in his contempt and less control over his 
conspicuous sneer. They were enemies by the law 
written when the rocks were molten. They were 
each too splendid, too mighty, too incomparable to 
divide pre-eminence. One only must survive. 

"I live on Grand," said O'Sullivan, insolently; 
"and no trouble to find me at home. Where do 
you live?'' 

Dempsey ignored the question. 

"You say your name's O'Sullivan," he went on. 
"Well, *Big Mike' says he never saw you before." 

"Lots of things he never saw," said the favourite 
of the hop. 

"As a rule," went on Dempsey, huskily sweet, 
*^0'Sullivans in this district know one another. You 
escorted one of our lady members here, and we wanjb 
^ chance to make good. If you've got a family tree 

The Coming-out of Maggie 77 

let's see a few historical O'SuUivan buds eame out on 
it. Or do you want us to dig it out of jou by the 

**Suppose you mind your own business,** suggested 
O'Sullivan, blandly. 

Dempsey's eye brightened. He held up an in- 
spired forefinger as though a brilliant idea had 
struck him. 

**Fve got it now," he said cordially. **It was just 
a little mistake. You ain't no O'Sullivan. You are 
a ring-tailed monkey. Excuse us for not recogniz- 
ing you at first." 

O'Sullivan's eye flashed. He made a quick move- 
ment, but Andy Geoghan was ready and caught his 

Dempsey nodded at Andy and William McMahan, 
the secretary of the club, and walked rapidly toward 
a door at the rear of the hall. Two other members 
of the Give and Take Association swiftly joined the 
little group. Terry O'Sullivan was now in the hands 
of the Board of Rules and Social Referees. They 
spoke to him briefly and softly, and conducted him 
out through the same door at the rear. 

This movement on the part of the Clover Leaf 
members requires a word of elucidation. Back of 
the association hall was a smaller room rented by the 

i78 The Four Million 

club. In this room personal difficulties that arose 
an the ballroom floor were settled, man to man, with 
the weapons of nature, under the supervision of the 
board. No lady could say that she had witnessed a 
fight at a Clover Leaf hop in several years. Its 
gentlemen members guaranteed that. 

So easily and smoothly had Dempsey and the 
board done their preliminary work that many in the 
hall had not noticed the checking of the fascinating 
O'SuUivan's social triumph. Among these was Mag- 
gie. She looked about for her escort. 

"Smoke up!" said Rose Cassidy. **Wasn't you 
on? Demps Donovan picked a scrap with your Liz- 
zie-boy, and they've waltzed out to the slaughter 
room with him. How's my hair look done up this 
way, Mag?" 

Maggie laid a hand on the bosom of her cheese- 
cloth waist. 

"Gone to fight with Dempsey!" she said, breath- 
lessly. "They've got to be stopped. Dempsey 
Donovan can't fight him. Why, he'll — he'll kill 

"Ah, what do you care?" said Rosa. **Don't 
some of 'em fight every hop ?" 

But Maggie was off^, darting her zig-zag way 
through the maze of dancers. She burst through the 

The Condng-out of Maggie 7& 

rear door into the dark hall and then threw her solid 
shoulder against the door of the room of single com- 
bat. It gave way, and in the instant that she en- 
tered her eye caught the scene — the Board standing 
about with open watches; Dempsey Donovan in liis 
shirt sleeves dancing, light-footed, with the wary 
grace of the modern pugilist, within easy reach of 
his adversary ; Terry O'Sullivan standing with arms 
folded and a murderous look in his dark eyes. And 
without slacking the speed of her entrance she leaped 
forward with a scream — leaped in time to catch and 
hang upon the arm of O'Sullivan that was suddenly 
uplifted, and to whisk from it the long, bright sti* 
letto that he had drawn from his bosom. 

The knife fell and rang upon the floor. Cold steel 
drawn in the rooms of the Give and Take Associa- 
tion! Such a thing had never happened before. 
Every one stood motionless for a minute. Andy 
Geoghan kicked the stiletto with the toe of his shoe 
curiously, like an antiquarian who has come upon 
some ancient weapon unknown to his learning. 

And then O'Sullivan hissed something unintelligi- 
ble between his teeth. Dempsey and the board 
exchanged looks. And then Dempsey looked at 
O'Sullivan without anger, as one looks at a stray dog, 
and nodded his head in the direction of the door. 

80 The Four MiUion 

"The back stairs, Giuseppi," he said, briefly. 
"Somebody'!! pitch your hat down after you.'* 

Maggie wallced up to Dempsey Donovan. There 
was a bril!iant spot of red in her cheelcs, down whicli 
s!ow tears were runniBg. But she lool^ed him 
bravely in the eye. 

"I Icnew it, Dempsey," she said, as her eyes grew 
du!I even in their tears. ^*I luiew he was a Guinea. 
His name's Tony Spindli. I hurried in when they 
told me you and him was scrappin'. Them Gruineas 
always carries Icnives. But you don't understand, 
Dempsey. I never had a fellow in my life. I got 
tired of comin' with Anna and Jimmy every night, 
so I fixed it with him to call himself O'SuUivan, and 
brought him along. I knew there'd be nothin' doin' 
for him if he came as a Dago. I guess I'U resign 
from the club now.** 

Dempsey turned to Andy Geoghan. 

**Chuck that cheese slicer out of the window," he 
said, "and tell 'em inside that Mr. O'Sullivan has 
had a telephone message to go down to Tammany 

And then he turned back to Maggie. 

**Say, Mag," he said, "I'll see you home. And 
how about next Saturday night? Will you come to 
the hop with me if I call around for you?' 


The Coming-out of Maggie 81 

It was remarkable how quickly Maggie's eyes 
could change from dull to a shining brown. 

**With you, Dempsey?" she stammered. *^Say 
^— will a duck swim?'' 


There were two or three things that I wanted 
to know. I do not care about a mystery. So I 
began to inquire. 

It took me two weeks to find out what women carry 
in dress suit cases. And then I began to ask why 
a mattress is made in two pieces. This serious query 
was at first received with suspicion because it 
sounded like a conundrum. I was at last assured that 
its double form of construction was designed to make 
lighter the burden of woman, who makes up beds. I 
was so foolish as to persist, begging to know why, 
then, they were not made in two equal pieces ; where- 
upoh I was shunned. 

The third draught that I craved from the fount 
of knowledge was enlightenment concerning the char- 
acter known as A Man About Town. He was more 
vague in my mind than a type shoiild be. We must 
have a concrete idea of anything, even if it be an 
imaginary idea, before we can comprehend it. Now, 
I have a mental picture of John Doe that is as clear 
as a steel engraving. His eyes are weak blue; 

he wears a brown vest and a shiny black serge coat» 


Man About Town 83 

He stands always in the sunshine chewing something ; 
and he keeps half -shutting his pocket knife and open- 
ing it again with his thumb. And, if the Man Higher 
Up is ever found, take my assurance for it, he will 
be a large, pale man with blue wristlets showing un- 
der his cufFs, and he will be sitting to have his shoes 
polished within sound of a bowling alley, and there 
will be somewhere about him turquoises. 

But the canvas of my imagination, when it came 
to limning the Man About Town, was blank. I fan- 
cied that he had a detachable sneer (like the smile 
of the Cheshire cat) and attached cuffs; and that 
was all. Whereupon I asked a newspaper reporter 
about him. 

"Why," said he, **a *Man About Town' is some- 
thing between a ^rounder* and a ^clubman.' He 
isn't exactly — well, he fits in between Mrs. Fish's 
receptions and private boxing bouts. He doesn't — 
well, he doesn't belong either to the Lotos Club or to 
the Jerry McGeogheghan Galvanized Iron Workers' 
Apprentices' Left Hook Chowder Association. I 
don't exactly know how to describe him to you. 
You'll see him everywhere there's anything doing. 
Yes, I suppose he's a type. Dress clothes every 
evening ; knows the ropes ; calls every policeman and 
waiter in town by their first names. No; he never 

84 The Four Million 

travels with the hydrogen derivatives. You gen- 
erally see him alone or with another man." 

My friend the reporter left me, and I wandered 
further afield. By this time the 3126 electric lights 
on the Rialto were alight. People passed, but they 
held me not. Paphian eyes rayed upon me, and left 
me unscathed. Diners, heimgangers, shop-girls, con- 
fidence men, panhandlers, actors, highwaymen, mil- 
lionaires and outlanders hurried, skipped, strolled, 
sneaked, swaggered and scurried by me; but I took 
no note of them. I knew them all ; I had read their 
hearts; they had served. I wanted my Man About 
Town. He was a type, and to drop him would be an 
error — a typograph — but no ! let us continue. 

Let us continue with a moral digression. To see a 
family reading the Sunday paper gratifies. 'Hie 
sections have been separated. Papa is earnestly 
scanning the page that pictures the young lady exer- 
cising before an open window, and bending — but 
there, there ! Mamma is interested in trying to guess 
the missing letters in the word N — ^w Yo — ^k. The 
oldest girls are eagerly perusing the financial re- 
ports, for a certain young man remarked last Sunday 
night that he had taken a flyer in Q., X. & Z. Willie, 
the eighteen-year-old son, who attends the New York 

Man About Town 85 

public school, is absorbed in the weekly article de- 
scribing how to make over an old skirt, for he hopes 
to take a prize in sewing on graduation day. 

Grandma is holding to the comic supplement with 
a two-hours' grip; and little Tottie, the baby, is 
rocking alcHig the best she can with the real estate 
transfers. This view is intended to be reassuring, 
for it is desirable that a few lines of this story be 
skipped. For it introduces strong drink. 

I went into a cafe to — and while it was being 
mixed I asked the man who grabs up your hot 
Scotch spoon as soon as you lay it down what he 
understood by the term, epithet, description, desig- 
nation, characterisation or appellation, viz. : a "Man 
About Town." 

**Why," said he, carefully, "it means a fly guy 
that's wise to the all-night push — see ? It's a hot 
sport that you can't bump to the rail anywhere be- 
tween the Flatirons — see? I guess that's about 
what it means." 

I thanked him and departed. 

On the sidewalk a Salvation lassie shook her con- 
tribution receptacle gently against my waistcoat 

**Would you mind telling me," I asked her, "if 

86 The Four Million 

you ever meet with the character commonly denomi- 
nated as *A Man About Town' during your daily 
wanderings ?" 

"I think I know whom you mean," she answered, 
with a gentle smile. "We see them in the same 
places night after night. They are the deviPs body 
guard, and if the soldiers of any army are as faith- 
ful as they are, their commanders are well served^ 
We go among them, diverting a few pennies from 
their wickedness to the Lord's service." 

She shook the box again and I dropped a dime 
into it. 

In front of a glittering hotel a friend of mine, 
a critic, wa^ climbing from a cab. He seemed at 
leisure ; and I put my question to him. He answered 
me conscientiously, as I was sure he would. 

"There is a type of 'Man About Town' in New 
York," he answered. "The term is quite familiar 
to me, but I don't think I was ever called upon to de- 
fine the character before. It would be difficult to 
point you out an exact specimen. I would say, off- 
hand, that it is a man who had a hopeless case of 
the peculiar New York disease of wanting to see and 
know. At 6 o'clock each day life begins with him. 
He follows rigidly the conventions of dress and man- 
liers; but in the business of poking his nose into 

Man About Town 871 

places where he does not belong he could give point- 
ers to a civet cat or a jackdaw. He is the man 
who has chased Bohemia about the town from raths- 
keller to roof garden and from Hester street to Har- 
lem until you can't find a place in the city where they 
don't cut their spaghetti with a knife. Your *Man 
About Town' has done that. He is always on the 
8cent of something new. He is curiosity, impudence 
and omnipresence. Hansoms were made for him, 
and gold-banded cigars; and the curse of music at 
dinner. There are not so many of him; but his 
minority report is adopted everywhere. 

"I'm glad you brought up the subject; I've felt, 
the influence of this nocturnal blight upon our city, 
but I never thought to analyse it before. I can see 
now that your *Man About Town' should have been 
classified long ago. In his wake spring up wine 
agents and cloak models; and the orchestra plays 
*Let's All Go Up to Maud's' for him, by request, in- 
stead of Handel. He makes his rounds every even- 
ing; while you and I see the elephant once a week. 
When the cigar store is raided, he winks at the officer, 
familiar with his ground, and walks away immune, 
while you and I search among the Presidents for 
names, and among the stars for addresses to give the 
desk sergeant," 

88 The Four Million 

My friend, the critic, paused to acquire breath for 
fresh eloquence. I seized my advantage. 

" You have classified him," I cried with joy. *'You 
have painted his portrait in the gallery of city types. 
But I must meet one face to face. I must study 
the Man About Town at first hand. Where shall I 
find him? How shall I know him?'' 

Without seeming to hear me, the critic went on. 
And his cab-driver was waiting for his fare, too. 

"He is the sublimated essence of Butt-in; the re- 
fined, intrinsic extract of Rubber; the concentrated, 
purified, irrefutable, unavoidable spirit of Curiosity 
and Inquisitiveness. A new sensation is the breath 
in his nostrils; when his experience is exliaustcd he 
explores new fields with the indefatigability of 

"Excuse me,'* I interrupted, "but can you pro- 
duce one of this type? It is a new thing to me. I 
must study it. I will search the town over until I 
find one. Its habitat must be here on Broadway." 

"I am about to dine here," said my friend. "Come 
inside, and if there is a Man About Town present 
I will point him out to you. I know most of the 
regular patrons here." 

"I am not dining yet," I said to him. **You will 
excuse me. I am going to find my Man About Town 

Man About Town 89 

this night if I have to rake New York from the Bat- 
terj to Little Coney Island." 

I left the hotel and walked down Broadway. The 
pursuit of my tjrpe gave a pleasant savour of Kfe aBd 
interest. to the air I breathed. I was glad to be in a 
city so great, so complex and diversified. Leisurely 
and with something of an air I strolled along with 
my heart expanding at the thought that I was a 
citizen of great Gotham, a sharer in its magnificence 
and pleasures, a partaker in its glory and prestige. 

I turned to cross the street. I heard something 
buzz like a bee, and then I took a long, pleaaant ride 
with Santos-Dumont. 

When I opened my eyes I remembered a smell of 
gasoline, and I said aloud: "Hasn't it passed yet?" 

A hospital nurse laid a hand that was not particu- 
larly soft upon my brow that was not at all fevered* 
A young doctor came along, grinned, and handed me 
a morning newspaper. 

**Want to see how it happened?" he asked cheer- 
ily. I read the article. Its headlines began where 
I heard the buzzing leave off the night before. It 
closed with these lines : 

** Bellevue Hospital, where it was said that his 

injuries were not serious. He appeared to be a typi- 
cal Man About Town." 


On his bench in Madison Square Soapy moved un- 
easily. When wild geese honk high of nights, and 
when women without sealskin coats grow kind to their 
husbands, and when Soapy moves uneasily on his 
bench in the park, you may know that winter is near 
at hand. 

A dead leaf fell in Soapy's lap. That was Jack 
Frost's card. Jack is kind to the regul?.r denizens of 
Madison Square, and gives fair warning of his annual 
call. At the corners of four streets he hands his 
pasteboard to the North Wind, footman of the man- 
sion of All Outdoors, so that the inhabitants thereof 
may make ready. 

Soapy's mind became cognisant of the fact that 
the time had come for him to resolve himself into a 
singular Committee of Ways and Means to provide 
against the coming rigour. And therefore he moved 
uneasily on his bench. 

The hibernatorial ambitions of Soapy were not of 

the highest. In them there were no considerations 

of Mediterranean cruises, of soporific Southern skies 


The Cop and the Anthem 91 

or drifting in the Vesuvian Bay. Three months on 
the Island was what his soul craved. Three months 
of assured board and bed and congenial company, 
safe from Boreas and bluecoats, seemed to Soapy the 
essence of things desirable. 

For years the hospitable Blackwell's had been his 
winter quarters. Just as his more fortunate fellow 
New Yorkers had bought their tickets to Palm Beach 
and the Riviera each winter, so Soapy had made his 
humble arrangements for his annual hegira to the 
Island. And now the time was come, On the pre- 
vious night three Sabbath newspapers, distributed 
beneath his coat, about his ankles and over his lap, 
had failed to repulse the cold as he slept on his 
bench near the spurting fountain in the ancient 
square. So the Island loomed big and timely in 
Soapy 's mind. He scorned the provisions made in 
the name of cliarity for the city's dependents. In 
Soapy's opinion the Law was more benign than Phi- 
lanthropy. There was an endless round of institu- 
tions, municipal and eleemosynary, on which he might 
set out and receive lodging and food accordant with 
the simple life. But to one of Sonpy's proud spirit 
the gifts of charity are encumbered. If not in coin 
you must pay in humiliation of spirit for every bene- 
fit received at the hands of philanthropy. As Caesar 

92 The Four Million 

had his Brutus, every bed of charity must have its 
toll of a bath, every loaf of bread its compensation of 
a private and personal inquisition. Wherefore it is 
better to be a guest of the law, which though con- 
ducted by rules, does not meddle unduly with a gen- 
tleman's private affairs. 

Soapy, having decided to go to the Island, at once 
set about accomplishing his desire. There were many 
easy ways of doing this. The pleasantest was to dine 
luxuriously at some expensive restaurant; and then, 
after declaring insolvency, be handed over quietly and 
without uproar to a policeman. An accommodating 
magistrate would do the rest. 

Soapy left his bench and strolled out of the square 
and across the level sea of asphalt, where Broadway 
and Fifth Avenue flow together. Up Broadway he 
turned, and halted at a glittering cafe, where are 
gathered together nightly the choicest products of the 
grape, the silkworm and the protoplasm. 

Soapy had confidence in himself from the lowest 
button of his vest upward. He was shaven, and his 
coat was decent and his neat black, ready-tied four- 
in-hand had been presented to him by a lady mis- 
sionary on Thanksgiving Day. If he could reach a 
table in the restaurant unsuspected success would be 
his. The portion of him that would show above the 

The Cop and the Anthem 93 

table would raise no doubt in the waiter's mind. A 
roasted mallard duck, thought Soapy, would be about 
the thing — with a bottle of Chablis, and then Ca-» 
membert, a demi-tasse and a cigar. One dollar for 
the cigar would be enough. The total would not be 
so hi^ as to call forth any supreme manifestation of 
revenge from the cafe management ; and yet the meat 
would leave him filled and happy for the journey to 
his winter refuge. 

But as Soapy set foot inside the restaurant door 
the head waiter's eye fell upon his frayed trousers 
and decadent shoes. Strong and ready hands turned 
him about and conveyed him in silence and haste to 
the sidewalk and averted the ignoble fate of the men- 
aced mallard. 

Soapy turned off Broadway. It seemed that his 
route to the coveted island was not to be an epicurean 
one. Some other way of entering limbo must be 
thought of. 

At a corner of Sixth Avenue electric lights and 
cunningly displayed wares behind plate-glass made a 
shop window conspicuous. Soapy took a cobblestone 
and dashed it through the glass. People came run- 
ning around the comer, a policeman in the lead. 
Soapy stood still, with his hands in his pockets, and 
smiled at the sight of brass buttons. 

94 The Four Million 

"Where's the man that done that?" inquired the 
oflScer excitedly. 

"Don't you figure out that I might have had some- 
thing to do with it?" said Soapy, not without sar- 
casm, but friendly, as one greets good fortune. 

The policeman's mind refused to accept Soapy 
even as a chic. Men who smash windows do not re- 
main to parley with the law's minions. They take 
to their heels. The policeman saw a man half way 
down the block running to catch a car. With drawn 
club he joined in the pursuit. Soapy, with disgust 
in his heart, loafed along, twice unsuccessful. 

On the opposite side of the street was a restaurant 
of no great pretensions. It catered to large appe- 
tites and modest purses. Its crockery and atmos- 
phere were thick; its soup and napery thin. Into 
this place Soapy took his accusive shoes and telltale 
trousers without challenge. At a table he sat and 
consumed beefsteak, flapjacks, doughnuts and pie. 
And then to the waiter he betrayed the fact that the 
minutest coin and himself were strangers. 

"Now, get busy and call a cop," said Soapy. 
"And don't keep a gentleman waiting." 

"No cop for youse," said the waiter, with a voice 
like butter cakes and an eye like the cherry in a Man- 
hattan cocktail. "Hey, Con!" 

The Cop and the Anthem 95 

Neatly upon his left ear on the callous pavement 
two waiters pitched Soapy. He arose, joint by joint, 
as a carpenter's rule opens, and beat the dust from 
his clothes. Arrest seemed but a rosy dream. The 
Island seemed very far away. A policeman who 
stood before a drug store two doors away laughed 
and walked down the street. 

Five blocks Soapy travelled before his courage per- 
mitted him to woo capture again. This time the 
opportunity presented what he fatuously termed to 
himself a "cinch." A young woman of a modest and 
pleasing guise was standing before a show window 
gazing with sprightly interest at its display of shav- 
ing mugs and inkstands, and two yards from the 
window a large policeman of severe demeanour leaned 
against a water plug. 

It was Soapy's design to assume the role of the 
despicable and execrated "masher." The refined and 
elegant appearance of his victim and the contiguity 
of the conscientious cop encouraged him to believe 
that he would soon feel the pleasant official clutch 
upon his arm that would insure his winter quarters 
on the right little, tight little isle. 

Soapy straightened the lady missionary's ready- 
made tie, dragged his shrinking cuffs into the open, 
set his hat at a killing cant and sidled toward the 

96 The Four Million 

young woman. He made eyes at her, was taken with 
sudden coughs and "hems,** smiled, smirked and went 
brazenly through the impudent and contemptible 
litany of the "masher/' With half an eye Soapy 
saw tkat the policeman was watching him fixedly. 
TTbe young woman moved away a few steps, and 
again bestowed her absorbed attention upon the shav- 
ing mugs. Soapy followed, boldly stepping to her 
side, raised his hat and said: 

"Ah there, Bedelia ! Don't you want to come and 
play in my yard?*' 

The policeman was still looking. The persecuted 
young woman had but to beckon a finger and Soapy 
would be practically en route for his insular haven. 
Already he imagined he could feel the cozy warmth of 
the station-house. The young woman faced him and, 
stretching out a hand, caught Soapy's coat sleeve. 

"Sure, Mike,** she said joyfully, "if you'll blow 
me to a pail of suds. I'd have spoke to you sodner, 
but the cop was watching." 

With the young woman playing the clinging ivy 
to his oak Soapy walked past the policeman overcome 
with gloom. He seemed doaacd to liberty. 

At the next corner he shook off his compasion and 
ran. He halted in tiie district where by night are 
found the lightest streets, hearts, vows and librettos* 

The Cop and the Anthew. 97 

Women in furs and men in greatcoats moved gaily in 
the wintry air. A sudden fear seized Soapy that 
some dreadful enchantment had rendered him immune 
to arrest. The thought brought a little of panic 
upon it, and when he came upon another policeman 
lounging grandly in front of a transplendent the- 
atre he caught at the immediate straw of "disorderly 

On the sidewalk Soapy began to yell drunken gib- 
berish at the top of his harsh voice. He danced, 
howled, raved and otherwise disturbed the welkin. 

The policeman twirled his club, turned his back to 
Soapy and remarked to a citizen. 

*^ 'Tis one of them Yale lads celebratin' the goose 
^SS *^^y S^v^ *^ ^^ Hartford College. Noisy ; but 
no harm. We've instructions to lave them be." 

Disconsolate, Soapy ceased his unavailing racket. 
Would never a policeman lay hands on him? In his 
fancy the Island seemed an unattainable Arcadia. 
He buttoned his thin coat against the chilling wind. 

In a cigar store he saw a well-dressed man light- 
ing a cigar at a swinging light. His silk umbrella 
he had set by the door on entering. Soapy stepped 
inside, secured the umbrella and sauntered off with 
it slowly. The man at the cigar light followed 

98 The Four Million 

"My umbrella," he said, sternly. 

"Oh, is it?" sneered Soapy, adding insult to petit 
larceny. "Well, why don't you call a policeman ? I 
took it. Your umbrella ! Why don't you call a cop? 
There stands one on the corner." 

The umbrella owner slowed his steps. Soapy did 
likewise, with a presentiment that luck would again 
run against him. The policeman looked at the two 

"Of course," said the umbrella man — "that is — 
well, you know how these mistakes occur — I — if it's 
your umbrella I hope you'll excuse me — I picked it 
up this morning in a restaurant — If you recognise 
it as yours, why — I hope you'll — " 

"Of course it's mine," said Soapy, viciously. 

The ex-umbrella man retreated. The policeman 
hurried to assist a tall blonde in an opera cloak across 
the street in front of a street car that was approach- 
ing two blocks away. 

Soapy walked eastward through a street damaged 
by improvements. He hurled the umbrella wrath- 
fully into an excavation. He muttered against the 
men who wear helmets and carry club&. Because he 
wanted to fall into their clutches, they seemed to 
regard him as a king who coi'J! do no wrong. 

At length Soapy reached one of the avenues to the 

The Cop and the Anthem 99 

east where the glitter and turmoil was but faint. 
He set his face down this toward Madison Square, 
for the homing instinct survives even when the home 
is a park bench. 

But on an unusually quiet corner Soapy came to a 
standstill. Here was an old church, quaint and ram- 
bling and gabled. Through one violet-stained win- 
dow a soft light glowed, where, no doubt, the organ- 
ist loitered over the keys, making sure of his mastery 
of the coming Sabbath anthem. For there drifted 
out to Soapy 's ears sweet music that caught and held 
him transfixed against the convolutions of the iron 

The moon was above, lustrous and serene ; vehicles 
and pedestrians were few ; sparrows twittered sleepily 
in the eaves — for a little while the scene might have 
been a country churchyard. And the anthem that 
the organist played cemented Soapy to the iron fence, 
for he had known it well in the days when his life 
contained such things as mothers and roses and am- 
bitions and friends and immaculate thoughts and col- 

The conjunction of Soapy's receptive state of mind 
and the influences about the old church wrought a 
sudden and wonderful change in his soul. He viewed 
with swift horror the pit into which he had tumbled, 

100 The Four Million 

the degraded days, unworthy desires, dead hopes, 
wrecked faculties and base motives that made up his 

And also in a moment his heart responded thrill- 
ingly to this novel mood. An instantaneous and 
strong impulse moved him to battle with his desper- 
ate fate. He would pull himself out of the mire ; he 
would make a man of himself again; he would con- 
quer the evil that had taken possession of him. 
There was time; he was comparatively young yet; 
he would resurrect his old eager ambitions and pur- 
sue them without faltering. Those solemn but sweet 
organ notes had set up a revolution in him. To- 
morrow he would go into the roaring downtown dis- 
trict and find work. A fur importer had once offered 
him a place as driver. He would find him to-morrow 
and ask for the position. He would be somebody in 
the world. He would — 

Soapy felt a hand laid on his arm. He looked 
quickly around into the broad face of a policeman. 

"What are you doin' here?" asked the officer. 

"Nothing" said Soapy. 

"Then come along," said the policeman. 

"Three months on the Island," said the Magistrate 
in the Police Court the next morning. 


In an art exhibition the other day I saw a painting 
that had been sold for $5,000. The painter was a 
young scrub out of the West named Kraft, who had 
a favourite food and a pet theory. His pabulum was 
an unquenchable belief in the Unerring Artistic Ad- 
justment of Nature. His theory was fixed around 
corned-beef hash with poached egg. There was a 
story behind the picture, so I went home and let it 
drip out of a fountain-pen. The idea of Kraft — 
but that is not the beginning of the story. 

Three years ago Kraft, Bill Judkins (a poet), and 
I took our meals at Cypher's, on Eighth Avenue. I 
say "took." When we had money, Cypher got it 
**off of" us, as he expressed it. We had no credit; 
we went in, called for food and ate it. We paid or 
we did not pay. We had confidence in Cypher's 
sullenness and smouldering ferocity. Deep down in 
his sunless soul he was either a prince, a fool or an 
artist. He sat at a worm-eaten desk, covered with 

files of waiters' checks so old that I was sure the 


102 The Four Million 

bottomest one was for clams that Hendrik Hudson 
had eaten and paid for. Cypher had the power, in 
common with Napoleon III. and the goggle-eyed 
perch, of throwing a film over his eyes, rendering 
opaque the windows of his soul. Once when we left 
him unpaid, with egregious excuses, I looked back 
and saw him shaking with inaudible laughter behind 
his film. Now and then we paid up back scores. 

But the chief thing at Cypher's was Milly. Milly 
was a waitress. She was a grand example of Kraft's 
theory of the artistic adjustment of nature. She 
belonged, largely, to waiting, as Minerva did to the 
art of scrapping, or Venus to the science of serious 
flirtation. Pedestalled and in bronze she might have 
stood with the noblest of her heroic sisters as "Liver* 
and-Bacon Enlivening the World." She belonged to 
Cypher's. You expected to see her colossal figure 
loom through that reeking blue cloud of smoke from 
frying fat just as you expect the Palisades to appear 
through a drifting Hudson River fog. There amid 
the steam of vegetables and the vapours of acres of 
"ham and," the crash of crockery, the clatter of steel, 
the screaming of "short orders," the cries of the 
hungering and all the horrid tumult of feeding man, 
surrounded by swarms of the buzzing winged beasts 
bequeathed us by Pharaoh, Milly steered her magnifi- 

An Adjustment of Nature 103 

cent way like some great liner cleaving among the 
canoes of howling savages. 

Our Goddess of Grub was built on lines so majes- 
tic that they could be followed only with awe. Her 
sleeves were always rolled above her elbows. She 
could have taken us three musketeers in her two 
hands and dropped us out of the window. She had 
seen fewer years than any of us, but she was of such 
superb Evehood and simplicity that she mothered us 
from the beginning. Cypher's store of eatables she 
poured out upon us with royal indifference to price 
and quantity, as from a cornucopia that knew no 
exhaustion. Her voice rang like a great silver bell; 
her smile was many-toothed and frequent ; she seemed 
like a yellow sunrise on mountain tops. I never saw 
her but I thought of the Yosemite. And yet, some- 
how, I could never think of her as existing outside of 
Cypher's. There nature had placed her, and she had 
taken root and grown mightily. She seemed happy, 
and took her few poor dollars on Saturday nights 
with the flushed pleasure of a child that receives an 
unexpected donation. 

It was Kraft who first voiced the fear that each 
of us must have held latently. It came up apropos, 
of course, of certain ouestions of art at which we 
were hammering. One of us compared the harmony 

104 The Four Million 

existing between a Haydn symphony and pistache 
ice cream to the exquisite congruity between Milly 
and Cypher's. 

"There is a certain fate hanging over Milly," said 
Kraft, "and if it overtakes her she is lost to CypherV 
and to us." 

"She will grow fat?*' asked Judkins, fearsomely. 

"She will go to night school and become refined?" 
I ventured anxiously. 

"It is this," said Kraft, punctuating in a puddle 
of spilled coffee with a stiff forefinger. "Qesar had 
his Brutus — the cotton has its boUworm, the chorus 
girl has her Pittsburger, the summer boarder has his 
poison ivy, the hero has his Carnegie medal, art has 
its Morgan, the rose has its — " 

"Speak," I interrupted, much perturbed. ^TTou 
do not think that Milly will begin to lace?" 

"One day," concluded Kraft, solemnly, "there will 
come to Cypher's for a plate of beans a millionaire 
lumberman from Wisconsin, and he will marry Milly." 

"Never !" exclaimed Judkins and I, in horror. 

"A lumberman," repeated Kraft, hoarsely. 

"And a millionaire lumberman!" I sighed, de- 

"From Wisconsin !" groaned Judkins. 

An Adjustment of Nature 105 

We agreed that the awful fate seemed to menace 
her. Few tilings were less improbable. Millj, like 
some vast virgin stretch of pine woods, was made 
to catch the lumberman's eye. And well we knew 
the habits of the Badgers, once fortune smiled upon 
them. Straight to New York they hie, and lay their 
goods at the feet of the girl who serves'* them beans 
in a beanery. Why, the alphabet itself connives. 
The Sunday newspaper's headliner's work is cut for 

**Winsome Waitress Wins Wealthy Wisconsin 

For a while we felt that Milly was on the verge of 
being lost to us. 

It was our love of the Unerring Artistic Adjust- 
ment of Nature that inspired us. We could not give 
her over to a lumberman, doubly accursed by wealth 
and provincialism. We shuddered to think of Milly, 
with her voice modulated and her elbows covered, 
pouring tea in the marble teepee of a tree murderer. 
No ! In Cypher's she belonged — in the bacon smoke, 
the cabbage perfume, the grand, Wagnerian chorus 
of hurled ironstone china and rattling casters. 

Our fears must have been prophetic, for on that 
same evening the wildwood discharged upon us Milly's 

106 The Four Million 

preordained confiscator — our fee to adjustment and 
order. But Alaska and not Wisconsin bore the bur- 
den of the visitation. 

We were at our supper of beef stew and dried 
apples when he trotted in as if on the heels of a dog 
team, and made one of the mess at our table. With 
the freedom of the camps he assaulted our ears and 
claimed the fellowship of men lost in the wilds of a 
hash house. We embraced him as a specimen, and in 
three minutes we had all but died for one another as 

He was rugged and bearded and wind-dried. Hq 
had just come off the "trail," he said, at one of the 
North River ferries. I fancied I could see the snow 
dust of Chilcoot yet powdering his shoulders. And 
then he strewed the table with the nuggets, stuffed 
ptarmigans, bead work and seal pelts of the returned 
Klondike r 5 and began to prate to us of his millions. 

^^Bank drafts for two millions," was his suimaing 
up, *'and a thousand a day piling up from my clainis. 
And now I want some beef stew and canned peadb«fl. 
I never got off the train since I mushed out of Seattle, 
and I'm hungry. The stuff the niggers feed you on 
Pullmans don't count. You gentlemen order what 
you want." 

And tlien Milly loomed up with a thousand dishes 

An Adjustment of Nature 107 

on her bare arm — loomed up big and white and pink 
and awful as Mount Saint Elias — with a smile like 
day breaking in a gulch. And the Klondiker threw 
down his pelts and nuggets as dross, and let his jaw 
fall half -w a J, and stared at her. You could ahnoet 
«ee the diamond tiaras on Millj's brow and the hand- 
embroidered silk Paris gowns that he meant to buy 
for her. 

At last the bollworro had attacked the cotton — 
the poison ivy was reaching out its tendrils to entwine 
the summer boarder — the millionaire lumberman, 
thinly disguised as the Alaskan miner, was about to 
engulf our Milly and upset Nature's adjustment. 

Ejraft was the first to act. He leaped up and 
pounded the Klondiker's back. ^^Come out and 
drink,'' he shouted. **I>rink first and eat afterward.** 
Judkins seized one arm and I the other. Gaily, roar- 
ingly, irresistibly, in joUj-good-fellow style, we 
dragged him from the restaurant to a caf^ stuffing 
his pockets with his embalmed birds and indigestible 

There he rumbled a rougUj good-humoured pro- 
test. "That's the girl for my money," he declared. 
"She can eat out of my skillet the rest of her life. 
Why, I never see such a fine girl. I'm going back 
there and ask her to marry me. I guess she won't 

108 The Four Million 

want to sling hash any more when she sees the pile of 
dust I've got." 

"You'll take another whiskey and milk now," 
Kraft persuaded, with Satan's smile. "I thought 
you up-country fellows were better sports." 

Kraft spent his puny store of coin at the bar and 
then gave Judkins and me such an appealing look 
that we went down to the last dime we had in toast- 
ing our guest. 

Then, when our ammunition was gone and the 
Klondiker, still somewhat sober, began to babble again 
of Milly, Kraft whispered into his ear such a polite, 
barked insult relating to people who were miserly with 
their funds, that the miner crashed down handful after 
handful of silver and notes, calling for all the fluids 
in the world to drown the imputation. 

Thus the work was accomplished. With his own 
guns we drove him from the field. And then we had 
him carted to a distant small hotel and put to bed 
with his nuggets and baby seal-skins stuffed around 

He will never find Cypher's again," said Kraft. 
He will propose to the first white apron he sees in 
a dairy restaurant to-morrow. And Milly — I mean 
the Natural Adjustment — is saved !" 

And back to Cypher's went we three, and finding 

An Adjustment of Nature 109 

customers scarce, we joined hands and did an Indian 
dance with Milly in the centre. 

This, I say, happened three years ago. And about 
that time a little luck descended upon us three, and 
we were enabled to buy costlier and less wholesome 
food than Cypher's. Our paths separated, and I saw 
Kraft no more and Judkins seldom. 

But, as I said, I saw a painting the other day 
that was sold for $5,000. The title was "Boadicea," 
and the figures seemed to fill all out-of-doors. But 
of all the picture's admirers who stood before it, I 
believe I was the only one who longed for Boadicea 
to stalk from her frame, bringing me corned-beef hash 
with poached egg. 

I hurried away to see Kraft. His satanic eyes 
were the same, his hair was worse tangled, but his 
clothes had been made by a tailor. 

"I didn't know," I said to him. 

**We've bought a cottage in the Bronx with the 
money," said he. "Any evening at 7." 

"Then," said I, *Vhen you led us against the 
lumberman — the — Klondiker — it wasn't alto- 
gether on account of the Unerring Artistic Adjust- 
ment of Nature?" 

**Well, not altogether," said Kraft, with a grin. 


f DON'T suppose it will knock any of you pec^le 
off your perch to read a contribution from an animal. 
Mr. Kipling and a good many others have demon- 
strated the fact that animals can express themselves 
in remunerative English, and no magazine goes to 
press nowadays without an animal story in it, except 
the old-style montlilics that are still running pictures 
of Bryan and the Mont Pelee horror. 

But you needn't look for any stuck-up literature in 
my piece, such as Bearoo, the bear, and Snakoo, the 
snake, and Tammanoo, the tiger, talk in the jungle 
books. A yellow dog that's spent most of his life 
in a clicap New York flat, sleeping is a comer 
on an old sateen underskirt (the one she spilled port 
wine on at the Lady 'Longshoremen's banquet), 
mustn't be expected to perform any tricks with the 
art of speech. 

I was born a yellow pup; date, locality, pedigree 
and weight unknown. The first thing I can recol- 
lect, an old woman had me in a basket at Broadway 
and Twenty-third trying to sell me to a fat lady. 

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 111 

Old Mother Hubbard was boosting me to beat the 
band as a genuine Pomeranian-Hambletonian-Red- 
Irish-Cochin-Chma-Stoke-Pogis fox terrier. The fat 
ladj chased a Y around among the samples of gros 
grain flannelette in her shopping bag till she cornered 
it, and gave up. From that moment I was a pet — 
a mamma's own wootsej squidlums. Say, gentle 
reader, did you ever have a 200-pound woman 
breathing a flavour of Camembert cheese and Peau 
d'£«pagiie pick you up and wallop her nose all over 
you, remarking all the time in an Emma Eames tone 
of voice: *^h, oo's um oodlum, doodlum, woodlum, 
toodlum, bitsy-witsy skoodlume?'' 

From pedigreed yellow pup I grew up to be an 
anonymous yellow cur looking like a erose between 
an Angora cat and a box of lemons. But my mis- 
tress never tumbled. She thought that the two 
primeval pups that Noah chased into the ark were 
but a collateral branch of my ancestors. It took two 
policemen to keep her from entering me at the 
Mflulison Square Garden for the Siberian bloodhound 

I'll tell you about that flat. The house was the 
ordinary thing in New York, paved with Parian mar- 
ble in the entrance hall and cobblestones above the 
first floor. Our flat was three — well, not flights — 

112 The Four Million 

climbs up. My mistress rented it unfurnished, and 
put in tlie regular things — 1903 antique unholstered 
parlour set, oil chromo of geishas in a Harlem tea 
house, rubber plant and husband. 

By Sirius ! there was a biped I felt sorry for. He 
was a little man with sandy hair and whiskers a 
good deal like mine. Henpecked? — well, toucans 
and flamingoes and pelicans all had their bills in 
him. He wiped the dishes and listened to my mis- 
tress tell about the cheap, ragged things the lady 
with the squirrel-skin coat on the second floor hung 
out on her line to dry. And every evening while she 
was getting supper she made him take me out on the 
end of a string for a walk. 

If men knew how women pass the time when they 
are alone they'd never marry. Laura Lean Jibbey, 
peanut brittle, a little almond cream on the neck 
muscles, dishes unwashed, half an hour's talk with 
the iceman, reading a package of old letters, a couple 
of pickles and two bottles of malt extract, one hour 
peeking through a hole in the window shade into the 
flat across the air-shaft — that's about all there is to 
it. Twenty minutes before time for him to come 
home from work she straightens up the house, fixes 
her rat so it won't show, and gets out a lot of sewing 
for a ten-minute bluff. 

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 118 

I led a dog's life in that flat. 'Most all day I lay 
there in my corner watching that fat woman kill 
time. I slept sometimes and had pipe dreams about 
being out chasing cats into basements and growling 
at old ladies with black mittens, as a dog was in- 
tended to do. Then she would pounce upon me with 
a lot of that drivelling poodle palaver and kiss me on 
the nose — but what could I do? A dog can't chew 

I began to feel sorry for Hubby, dog my cats if 
I didn't. We looked so much alike that people no- 
ticed it when we went out; so we shook the streets 
that Morgan's cab drives down, and took to climbing 
the piles of last December's snow on the streets where 
cheap people live. 

One evening when we were thus promenading, and 
I was trying to look like a prize St. Bernard, and 
the old man was trying to look like he wouldn't have 
murdered the first organ-grinder he heard play Men- 
delssohn's wedding-march, I looked up at him and 
said, in my way : 

"What are you looking so sour about, you oakum 
trimmed lobster? She don't kiss you. You don't 
have to sit on her lap and listen to talk that would 
make the book of a musical comedy sound like the 
maxims of Epictetus. You ought to be thankful 

114 The Four Million 

you're not a dog. Brace up, Benedick, and bid the 
blues begone." 

The matrimonial mishap looked down at me with 
almost canine intelligence in his face. 

"Whj, doggie," says he, "good doggie. You al- 
most look like you could speak. What is it, doggie 
— Cats." 

Catsi Could speak! 

But, of course, he couldn't understand. Humana 
were denied the speech of animals. The only com- 
mon ground of communication upon which dogs and 
men can get together is in fiction. 

In the flat across the hall from u« lived a lady with 
a black-and-tan terrier. Her husband strung it 
and took it out every evening, but he always came 
home cheerful and whistling. One day I touched 
noses with the black-and-tan in the hall, aiid I struck 
him for an elucidation. 

"See, here, Wiggle-and-Skip," I says, "you know 
that it ain't the nature of a real man to play dry 
nurse to a dog in public. I never saw one leashed to 
a bow-wow yet that didn't look like he'd like to lick 
every other man that looked at him. But your boss 
comes in every day as perky and set up as an ama- 
teur prestidigitator doing the egg tridc. How does 
he do it ? Don't tell me he likes it." 

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 115 

"Him?'' says the black-and-tan. "Why, he uses 
Nature's Own Remedy. He gets spifflicated. At 
first when we go out he's as shy as the man on the 
steamer who would rather play pedro when they 
make 'em all jackpots. By the time we've been in 
eight saloons he don't care whether the thing on the 
end of his line is a dog or a catfish. I've lest two 
inches of mj tail trying to sidestep those swinging 

The pointer I got from that terrier — vaudeville 
please copy — set me to thinking. 

One evening about 6 o'clock my mistress ordered 
him to get bwsy and do the ozone act for Lovey. I 
have concealed it until now, but that is what she 
called me. The black-and-tan was called "Tweet- 
ness." I consider that I have the bulge on him as 
far as you cotild chase a rabbit. Still ^Tl.avey'* is 
something of a nomenclatural tin can on the tail ot 
one's self respect. 

At a quiet place on a safe street I tightened the 
line of my custodian in front of an attractive, re- 
fined saloon. I made a dead-ahead scramble for tlie 
doors, whining like a dog in the press despatches 
that lets the family know that little Alice is bogged 
while gathering lilies in the brook. 

**Why, dam my eyes," says the old mas, with a 

116 The Four Million 

grin ; "darn my eyes if the saffron-coloured son of a 
seltzer lemonade ain't asking me in to take a drink. 
Lemme see — how long's it been since I saved shoe 
leather by keeping one foot on the foot-rest? I 
believe I'll — " 

I knew I had him. Hot Scotches he took, sitting 
at a table. For an hour he kept the Campbells com- 
ing. I sat by his side rapping for the waiter with 
my tail, and eating free lunch such as mamma in her 
flat never equalled with her homemade truck bought 
at a delicatessen store eight minutes before papa 
comes home. 

When the products of Scotland were all exhausted 
except the rye bread the old man unwound me from 
the table leg and played me outside like a fisherman 
plays a salmon. Out there he took off my collar and 
threw it into the street. 

"Poor doggie," says he; "good doggie. She 
shan't kiss you any more. 'S a darned shame. 
Good doggie, go away and get run over by a street 
car and be happy." 

I refused to leave. I leaped and frisked around 
the old man's legs happy as a pug on a rug. 

"You old flea-headed woodchuck-chaser," I said 
to him — "you moon-baying, rabbit-pointing, egg^ 

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 117 

stealing old beagle, can't you see that I don't want 
to leave you? Can't you see that we're both Pups 
in the Wood and the missis is the cruel uncle after 
you with the dish towel and me with the flea liniment 
and a pink bow to tie on my tail. Why not cut that 
all out and be pards forever more ?" 

Maybe you'll say he didn't understand — maybe 
he didn't. But he kind of got a grip on the Hot 
Scotches, and stood still for a minute, thinking. 

"Doggie," says he, finally, "we don't live more 
than a dozen lives on this earth, and very few of us 
live to be more than 300. If I ever see that flat any 
m«re I'm a flat, and if you do you're flatter; and 
that's no flattery. I'm off^ering 60 to 1 that West- 
ward Ho wins out by the length of a dachshund." 

There was no string, but I frolicked along with 
my master to the Twenty-third street ferry. And 
the cats on the route saw reason to give thanks that 
prehensile claws had been given them. 

On the Jersey side my master said to a stranger 
who stood eating a currant bun : 

"Me and my doggie, we are bound for the Rocky 

But what pleased me most was when my old man 
pulled both of my ears until I howled, and said : 

118 The Four Million 

"You common, monkey-headed, rat-tailed^ sul- 
phur-colourtd son of a door mat, do jou know what 
I'm going to call you?" 

I thought of "Lovey," and I whinod doleftillj. 

"I'm going to call you Tete,' " says My master ; 
and if I'd had five tails I couldn't have done enough 
Wagging to do justice to the occasion. 


The Blue Light Drug Store is downtown, between 
the Bowerj and First Avenue, where tl>e distance 
between the two street* is the shortest. The Blue- 
Light does not consider that pharmacy is a thing of 
bric-a-brac, scent and ice-cream soda. If you ask 
it for pain-killer it will not give you a bonbon. 

The Blue Light scorns the labour-saving arts of 
nnodem pharmacy. It macerates its opium and per* 
colates its own laudanum and paregoric. To this 
day pills are made behind its tall prescription desk — 
pills rolled out on its own pill-tile, divided with a 
spatula, rolled with the finger and thumb, dusted with 
calcined magnesia and delivered in little round paste- 
board pill-boxes. The store is on a corner about 
which coveys of ragged-plumed, hilarious children 
play and become candidates for the cough drops and 
soothing syrups that wait for them inside. 

Ikey Schoen stein was the night clerk of the Blue 

Light and the friend of his customers. Thus it is on 

the East Side, where the heart of pharamcy is not 


120 The Four Million 

glace. There, as it should be, the druggist is a coun- 
sellor, a confessor, an adviser, an able and willing 
missionary and mentor whose learning is respected, 
whose occult wisdom is venerated and whose medicine 
is often poured, untasted, into the gutter. There- 
fore Ikcy's corniform, be-spectacled nose and nar- 
row, knowledge-bowed figure was well known in the 
vicinity of the Blue Light, and his advice and notice 
were mucli desired. 

Ikcv roomed and breakfasted at Mrs. Riddle's two 
squares away. Mrs. Riddle had a daughter named 
Rosy. The circumlocution has been in vain — you 
must have guessed it — Ikey adored Rosy. She 
tinctured all his thoughts; she was the compound 
extract of all that was chemically pure and officinal 
— tlie dispensatory contained nothing equal to her. 
But Ikey was timid, and his hopes remained insoluble 
in tlie menstruum of his backwardness and fears. 
Behind his counter he was a superior being, calmly 
conscious of special knowledge and worth ; outside he 
was a weak-kneed, purblind, motorman-cursed ram- 
bler, with ill-fitting clothes stained with chemicals 
and smelling of socotrine aloes and valerianate of am- 

The fiy in Ikey's ointment (thrice welcome, pat 
trope!) was Chunk McGowan. 

Love-PkUtre of Ikey Schoenstein 121 

Mr. McGowan was also striving to catch the bright 
smiles tossed about by Rosy. But he was no out- 
fielder as Ikey was; he picked them off the bat. At 
the same time he was Ikey's friend and customer, 
and often dropped in at the Blue Light Drug Store 
to have a bruise painted with iodine or get a cut 
rubber-plastered after a pleasant evening spent along 
the Bowery. 

One afternoon McGowan drifted in in his silent, 
easy way, and sat, comely, smooth-faced, hard, in- 


domitable, good-natured, upon a stool. 

**Ikey,'' said he, when his friend had fetched his 
mortar and sat opposite, grinding gum benzoin to a 
powder, "get busy with your ear. It's drugs for me 
if you've got the line I need.'* 

Ikey scanned the countenance of Mr. McGowan for 
the usual evidence of conflict, but found none. 

**Take your coat off^,'' he ordered. "I guess al- 
ready that you have been stuck in the ribs with a 
knife. I have many times told you those Dagoes 
would do you up." 

Mr. McGowan smiled. "Not them," he said. 
'^Not any Dagoes. But you've located the diagnosis 
all right enough — it's under my coat, near the ribs. 
Say ! Ikey — Rosy and roe are goin' to run away and 
get married to-night." 

122 The Four Million 

Ikey's left forefinger was doubled over the edge of 
the mortar, holding it steady. He gave it a wild rap 
with the pestle, but felt it not. Meanwhile Mr. Mc- 
Gowan's smile faded to a look of perplexed gloom. 

"That is," he continued, "if she keeps in the no- 
tion until the time comes. WeVe been layin' pipes 
for the getaway for two weeks. One day she says she 
wUl; the same evcnin' she says nixy. We've agreed 
on to-night, and Rosy's stuck to the affirmative this 
time for two whole days. But it's five hours yet till 
the time, and I'm afraid she'll stand me up when it 
comes to the scratch." 

"You said you wanted drugs," remarked Ikey. 

Mr. McGowan looked ill at ease and harassed — a 
condition opposed to his usual line of demeanour. He 
made a patent-medicine almanac into a roll and fitted 
it with unprofitable carefulness about his finger. 

*'I wouldn't have this double handicap make a 
false start to-night for a million," he said. **I've got 
a little flat up in Harlem all ready, with chrysan- 
themums on the table and a kettle ready to boil. 
And I've engaged a pulpit pounder to be ready at 
his house for us at 9.30. It's got to come off. And 
if Rosy don't change her mind again!" — Mr. Mc^ 
Gowan ceased, a prey to his doubts. 

"I don't see then yet," said Ikey, shortly, '^Srhat 

Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 128 

makes it that you talk of drugs, or what I can be 
doing about it." 

"Old man Riddle don't like me a little bit," went on 
the uneasy suitor, bent upon marshalling his argu- 
ments. *'For a week he hasn't let Rosy step outside 
the door with me. If it wasn't for losin' a boarder 
they'd have bounced me long ago. I'm makin' $20 a 
week and she'll never regret flyin' the coop with 
Chunk McGowan." 

"You will excuse me. Chunk," said Ikey. "I 
must make a prescription that is to be called for 



"Say," said McGowan, looking up suddenly, 
say, Ike}', ain't there a drug of some kind — some 
kind of powders that'll make a girl like you better if 
you give 'em to her?" 

Ikey's lip beneath his nose curled with the scorn 
of superior enlightenment; but before he could an- 
swer, McGowan continued : 

"Tim Lacy told me he got some once from a 
croaker uptown and fed 'cm to his girl in soda water. 
From the very first dose he was ace-high and every- 
body else looked like thirty cents to her. They was 
married in less than two weeks." 

Strong and simple was Chunk McGowan. A better 
reader of men than Ikey was could have seen that his 

124 The Four Million 

tough frame was strung upon fine wires. Like a 
good general who was about to invade the enany's 
territory he was seeking to guard every point against 
possible failure. 

"I thought," went on Chunk hopefully, *Hhat if I 
had one of them powders to give Rosy when I see 
her at supper to-night it might brace her up and 
keep her from reneging on the proposition to skip. I 
guess she don't need a mule team to drag her away, 
but women are better at coaching than th^y are at 
running bases. If the stuff'll work just for a couple 
of hours itni do the trick." 

"When is this foolishness of running away to be 
happening.^" asked Ikey. 

"Nine o'clock," said Mr. McGowan. **Supper's 
at seven. At eight Rosy goes to bed with a headache, 
at nine old Parvenzano lets me through to his back 
yard, where there's a board off Riddle's fence, next 
door. I go under her window and help her down the 
fire-escape. We've got to make it early on the 
preacher's account. It's all dead easy if Rosy don't 
balk when the fiag drops. Can you fix me one of them 
powders, Ikey?" 

Ikey Schoenstein rubbed his nose slowly. 

"Chunk," said he, "it is of drugs of that nature 
that pharmaceutists must have much earefulnesa. To 

Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 125 

you alone of my acquaintance would I intrust a 
powder like that. But for you I shall make it, and 
you shall see how it makes Rosy to think of you." 

Ikey went behind the prescription desk. There he 
crushed to a powder two soluble tablets, each con- 
taining a quarter of a grain of morphia. To them 
he added a little sugar of milk to increase the bulk, 
and folded the mixture neatly in a wliitc paper. 
Taken by an adult this powder would insure several 
hours of heavy slumber without danger to the sleeper. 
This he handed to Chunk McGowan, telling him to 
administer it in a liquid if possible, and received the 
hearty thanks of the backyard Lochinvar. 

The subtlety of Ikey's action becomes apparent 
upon recital of his subsequent move. He sent a 
messenger for Mr. Riddle and disclosed the plans of 
Mr. McGowan for eloping with Rosy. Mr. Riddle 
was a stout man, brick-dusty of complexion and sud- 
den in action 

**Much obliged," he said, briefly, to Ikey. **The 
lazy Irish loafer! My own room's just above Rosy's. 
I'll just go up there myself after supper and load the 
shot-gun and wait. If he comes in my back yard 
he'll go away in a ambulance instead of a bridal 

With Rosy held in the clutches of Morpheus for a 

126 The Four Million 

many-hours deep slumber, and the bloodthirsty 
parent waiting, armed and forewarned, Ikcy felt that 
his rival was close, indeed, upon discomfiture. 

All night in tlie Blue Light Drug Store he waited 
at his duties for cliance news of the tragedy, but 
none came. 

At eight o'clock in the morning the day clerk ar- 
rived and Ikey started hurriedly for Mrs. Kiddle's to 
learn the outcome. And, lo ! as he stepped out of the 
store who but Chunk McGowan sprang from a pass- 
ing street car and grasped his hand — Chunk Mc- 
Gowan with a victor's smile and fluslied with joy. 

"Pulled it off," said Chunk with Elvslum in his 
grin. "Rosy hit the fire-escape on time to a second, 
and we was under the wire at the Reverend's at 
9.30^1 . She's up at the flat — she cooked eggs this 
mornin' in a blue kimono — Lord ! how lucky I am 5 
You must pace up some day, Ikey, and feed with us. 
I've got a job down near the bridge, and that's where 
I'm heading for now." 

" The — the — powder?" stammered Ikey. 

"Oh, that stuffs you gave me !" said Chunk, broad^ 
ening his grin; "well, it was this way. I sat down 
at the supper table last night at Riddle's, and I 
looked at Rosy, and I says to myself, *Chunk, if you 
get the girl get her on the square — don't try any 

Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 127 

hocus-pocus with a thoroughbred like her.' And I 
keeps the paper you give me in my pocket. And 
then my lamps fall on another party present, who, 
I says to myself, is failin' in a proper affection 
toward his comin' son-in-law, so I watches my chance 
and dumps that powder in old man Riddle's coffee — 


Old Anthony Rockwall, retired manufacturer and 
proprietor of Rockwall's Eureka Soap, looked out 
the library window of his Fifth Avenue mansion and 
grinned. His neighbour to the right — the aristo- 
cratic clubman, G. Van Schuylight SufFolk-Jones — 
came out to his waiting motor-car, wrinkling a con- 
tumelious nostril, as usual, at the Italian renaissance 
sculpture of the soap palace's front elevation. 

"Stuck-up old statuette of nothing doing!" com- 
mented the ex-Soap King. "The Eden Museell get 
that old frozen Ncsselrode yet if he don't watch out. 
I'll have this house painted red, white, and blue next 
summer and see if that'll make bis Dutch nose turn 
up any higher." 

And then Anthony Rockwall, who never cared for 
bells, went to the door of his library and shouted 
"Mike!" in the same voice that had once chipped 
off pieces of the welkin on the Kansas prairies. 

"Tell my son," said Anthcmy to the answering 

menial, "to come in here before he leaves the house." 

When young Rockwall entered the library the old 


Mammon and the Archer 129 

man laid aside his newspaper, looked at him with a 
kindly grimness on his big, smooth, ruddy counte- 
nance, rumpled his mop of white hair with one hand 
and rattled the keys in his pocket with the other. 

"Richard," said Anthony Rockwall, "what do you 
pay for the soap that you use?" 

Richard, only six months home from college, was 
startled a little. He had not yet taken the measure 
of this sire of his, who was as full of unexpected- 
nesses as a girl at her first party. 

"Six dollars a dozen, I think, dad." 

"And your clothes.?" 

"I suppose about sixty dollars, as a rule." 

"You're a gentleman," said Anthony, decidedly. 
**I've heard of these young bloods spending $24 a 
dozen for soap, and going over the hundred mark for 
clothes. You've got as much money to waste as any 
of 'em, and yet you stick to what's decent and mod- 
erate. Now I use the old Eureka — not only for 
sentiment, but it's the purest soap made. Whenever 
you pay more than 10 cents a cake for soap you buy 
bad perfumes and labels. But 50 cents is doing very 
well for a young man in your generation, position and 
condition. As I said, you're a gentleman. They say 
it takes three generations to make one. They're off. 
Money'U do it as slick as soap grease. It's made you 

180 The Four Million 

one. By hokej! it's almost made one of me. I'm 
nearly as impolite and disagreeable and ill-mannered 
as these two old Knickerbocker gents on each side of 
me that can't sleep of nights because I bought in 
between 'em." 

"There are some things that money can't accom- 
plish," remarked young Rockwall, rather gloomily. 

"Now, don't say that," said old Anthony, shocked. 
"I bet my money on money every time. I've been 
through the encyclopaedia down to Y looking for 
something you can't buy with it; and I expect to 
have to take up the appendix next veek. I'm for 
money against the field. Tell me something money 
won't buy." 

"For one thing," answered Richard, rankling a 
little, "it won't buy one into the exclusive circles of 

"Oho! won't it?" thundered the champion of the 
root of evil. **You tell me where your exclusive 
circles would be if the first Astor hadn't had the 
money to pay for his steerage passage over?" 

Richard sighed. 

"And that's what I was coming to," said the old 
man, less boisterously. "That's why I asked you to 
come in. There's something going wrong with you, 
boy. I've been noticing it for two weeks. Out with 

Mammon and the Archer 131 

it. I guess I could lay my hands on eleven millions 
within twenty-four hours, besides the real estate. 
If it's your liver, there's the Rambler down in the bay, 
coaled, and ready to steam down to the Bahamas in 
two days." 

*'Not a bad guess, dad; you haven't missed it 

"Ah," said Anthony, keenly; "what's her name?" 

Richard began to walk up and down the library 
floor. There was enough comradeship and sympathy 
in this crude old father of his to draw his confidence. 

"Why don't you ask her?" demanded old An- 
thony. "She'll jump at you. You've got the money 
and the looks, and you're a decent boy. Your hands 
are clean. You've got no Eureka soap on 'em. 
You've been to college, but she'll overlook that." 

"I haven't had a chance," said j^ichard. 

"Make one," said Anthony. "Take her for a walk 
in the park, or a straw ride, or walk home with her 
from church. Chance ! Pshaw !" 

"You don't know the social mill, dad. She's part 
of the stream that turns it. Every hour and min- 
ute of her time is arranged for days in advance. I 
must have that girl, dad, or this town is a black- 
jack swamp forevermore. And I can't write it — I 
can't do that." 

132 The Four Million 

"Tut!" said the old man. "Do you mean to tell 
me that with all the money I've got you can't get an 
hour or two of a girl's time for yourself?" 

"I've put it oflF too late. She's going to sail for 
Europe at noon day after to-morrow for a two 
years' stay. I'm to see her alone to-morrow evening 
for a few minutes. She's at Larchmont now at her 
aunt's. I can't go there. But I'm allowed to meet 
her with a cab at the Grand Central Station to-mor- 
row evening at the 8.30 train. We drive down 
Broadway to Wallack's at a gallop, where her mother 
and a box party will be waiting for us in the lobby. 
Do you think she would listen to a declaration from 
me during that six or eight minutes under those cir- 
cumstances? No. And what chance would I have 
in the theatre or afterward? None, No, dad, this 
is one tangle that your money can't unravel. We 
can't buy one minute of time with cash ; if we could, 
rich people would live longer. There's no hope of 
getting a talk with Miss Lantry before she sails." 

"All right, Richard, my boy," said old Anthony, 
cheerfully. "You may run along down to your club 
now. I'm glad it ain't your liver. But don't forget 
to burn a few punk sticks in the joss house to the 
great god Mazuma from time to time. You say 
money won't buy time? Well, of course, you can't 

Mammon and the Archer 188 

order eternity wrapped up and delivered at your 
residence for a price, but I've seen Father Time get 
pretty bad stone bruises on his heels when he walked 
through the gold diggings." 

That night came Aunt Ellen, gentle, sentimental, 
wrinkled, sighing, oppressed by wealth, in to Brother 
Anthony at his evening paper, and began discourse 
on the subject of lovers' woes. 

"He told me all about it" said brother Anthony, 
yawning. *'I told him my bank account was at his 
service. And then he began to knock money. Said 
money couldn't help. Said the rules of society 
couldn't be bucked for a yard by a team of ten- 

"Oh, Anthony," sighed Aunt Ellen, "I wish you 
would not think so much of money. Wealth is noth- 
ing where a true affection is concerned. Love is all- 
powerful. If he only had spoken earlier ! She could 
not have refused our Richard. But now I fear it is 
too late. He will have no opportunity to address her. 
All your gold cannot bring happiness to your son." 

At eight o'clock the next evening Aunt Ellen took 
a quaint old gold ring from a moth-eaten case and 
gave it to Richard. 

"Wear it to-night, nephew," she begged. "Your 
mother gave it to me. Good luck in love she said it 

184 The Four Million 

brought. She asked me to give it to you when you 
had found the one you loved." 

Young Rockwall took the ring reverently and tried 
it on liis smallest finger. It slipped as far as the 
second joint and stopped. He took it off and stuffed 
it into his vest pocket, after the manner of man. And 
then he 'phoned for his cab. 

At the station he captured Miss Lantry out of the 
gadding mob at eight thirty-two. 

"We mustn't keep mamma and the others waiting,** 
said she. 

"To Wallack's Theatre as fast as you can drive !" 
said Richard loyally. 

They whirled up Forty-second to Broadway, and 
then down the white-starred lane that leads from 
the soft meadows of sunset to the rocky hills of morn- 

At Thirty-fourth Street young Richard quickly 
thrust up tlie trap and ordered the cabman to stop. 

*'I've dropped a ring," he apologised, as he 
climbed out. "It was my mother's, and I'd hate to 
lose it, I won't detain you a minute — I saw where 
it fell." 

In less than a minute he was back in the cab with 
the ring. 

Mammon and the Archer 185 

But within that minute a crosstown car had 
stopped directly in front of the cab. The cabman 
tried to pass to the left, but a heavy express wagon 
cut him off. He tried the right, and had to back 
away from a furniture van that had no business to be 
there. He tried to back out, but dropped his reins 
and swore dutifully. He was blockaded in a tangled 
mess of vehicles and horses. 

One of those street blockades had occurred that 
sometimes tie up commerce and movement quite sud- 
denly in the big city. 

"Why don't you drive on?^ said Miss Lantry, im- 
patiently. "We'll be late." 

Richard stood up in the cab and looked around. 
He saw a congested flood of wagons, trucks, cabs, 
vans and street cars filling the vast space where 
Broadway, Sixth Avenue and Thirty-fourth street 
cross one another as a twenty-six inch maiden fills her 
twenty-two inch girdle. And still from all tlie cross 
streets they were hurrying and rattling toward the 
converging point at full speed, and hurling them- 
selves into the struggling mass, locking wheels and 
adding their drivers' imprecations to the clamour. 
The entire traflfic of Manhattan seemed to have 
jammed itself around them. The oldest New Yorker 

136 The Four Milium 

among the thousands of spectators that lined the 
sidewalks had not witnessed a street blockade of the 
proportions of this one. 

"I'm very sorry," said Richard, as he resumed his 
seat, "but it looks as if we are stuck. They won't get 
this jumble loosened up in an hour. It was my fault. 
If I hadn't dropped the ring we — " 

"Let me see the ring," said Miss Lantry. "Now 
that it can't be helped, I don't care. I think theatres 
are stupid, anyway." 

At 11 o'clock that night somebody tapped lightly 
on Anthony Rockwall's door. 

"Come in," shouted Anthony, who was in a red 
dressing-down, reading a book of piratical adven- 

Somebody was Aunt Ellen, looking like a grey- 
haired angel that had been left on earth by mis- 

"They're engaged, Anthony," she said, softly. 
"She has promised to marry our Richard. On their 
way to the theatre there was a street blockade, and 
it was two hours before tlieir cab could get out of it. 

"And oh, brother Anthony, don't ever boast of 
the power of money again. A little emblem of true 
love — a little ring that symbolised unending and 
unmercenary aiFection — was the cause of oup Rich- 

Mammon and the Archer 137 

ard finding his happiness. He dropped it in tlic 
street, and got out to recover it. And before they 
could continue the blockade occurred. He spoke io 
his love and won her there while the cab was hemniKJ 
in. Money is dross compared with true lf)^c. 

"All right,'' said old Anthony. "I'm glad the 
boy has got what he wanted. I told him I wouldn't 
spare any expense in the matter if — " 

"But, brother Anthony, what good could your 
money have done?" 

"Sister," said Anthony Rockwall. "I've got my 
pirate in a devil of a scrape. His ship has just been 
scuttled, and he's too good a judge of the value of 
money to let drown. I wish you would let me go on 
with this chapter." 

The story should end here. I wish it would as 
heartily as you who read it wish it did. But we 
must go to the bottom of the well for truth. 

The next day a person with red hands and a blue 
polka-dot necktie, who called himself Kelly, called at 
Anthony Rockwall's house, and was at once received 
in the library. 

"Well," said Anthony, reaching for his cheque- 
book, "it was a good bilin' of soap. Let's see — you 
had $5,000 in cash." 

138 The Four Million 

"I paid out $300 more of my own," said Kelly. 
*'I had to go a little above the estimate. I got the 
express wagons and oabe mostly for $5; but the 
trucks and two-horse teams mostly raised me to $10. 
The motormen wanted $10, and some of the loaded 
teams $20. The cops struck me hardest — $S0 I 
paid two, and the rest $£0 and $25. But didn't it 
work beautiful, Mr. Rockwall? I'm glad William 
A. Brady wasn't onto that little outdoor vehicle mob 
scene. I wouldn't want WiDiam to break his heart 
with jealousy. And never a rehearsal, either! The 
boys was on time to the fraction of a second. It was 
two hours before a snake could get below Greeley's 

"Thirteen hundred — there you are, Kelly," ssXA. 
Anthony, tearing off a check, "Your thousand, and 
the $300 you were out. You don't despise money, 
do you, Kelly?" 

"Me?" said Kelly. "I can lick the man that in- 
vented poverty." 

Anthony called Kelly when he was at the door. 

"You didn't notice," said he, "anywhere in the 
tie-up, a kind of a fat boy without any clothes on 
shooting arrows around with a bow, did you?" 

"Why, no," said Kelly, mystified. '1 didn't. If 

Mammon and the Archer 139 

he was like you say, maybe the cops pinched him be- 
fore I got there." 

"I thought the little rascal wouldn't be oji handy" 
chuckled Anthony. "Grood-by, Kelly." 


It was a day in March. 

Never, never begin a story this way when you 
write one. No opening could possibly be worse. It 
is unimaginative, flat, dry and likely to consist of 
mere wind. But in this instance it is allowable. For 
the following paragraph, which should have in- 
augurated the narrative, is too wildly extravagant 
aii{i preposterous to be flaunted in the face of the 
reader witliout preparation. 

Sarah was crying over her bill of fare. 

Think of a New York girl shedding tears on the 
menu card! 

To account for this you will be allowed to guess 
that the lobsters were all out, or that she had sworn 
ice-cream off during Lent, or that she had ordered 
onions, or that she had just come from a Hackett 
matinee. And then, all these theories being wrongs 
you will please let the story proceed. 

The gentleman who announced that the world was 

an oyster which he with his sword would open made 

a larger hit than he deserved. It is not difficult to 


Springtime a la Carte 141 

open an oyster with a sword. But did you ever no- 
tice any one try to open the terrestrial bivalve with a 
typewriter? Like to wait for a dozen raw opened 
that way ? 

Sarah had managed to pry apart the shells with 
her unhandy weapon far enough to nibble a wee bit 
at the cold and clammy world within. She knew no 
more shorthand than if she had been a graduate in 
stenography just let slip upon the world by a busi- 
ness college. So, not being able to stenog, she could 
not enter that bright galaxy of ofBce talent. She 
was a free-lance typewriter and canvassed for odd 
jobs of copying. 

The most brilliant and crowning feat of Sarah's 
battle with the world was the deal she made with 
Schulenberg's Home Restaurant. The restaurant 
was next door to the old red brick in which she hall- 
roomed. One evening after dining at Schulenberg's 
40-cent, five course table d'hote (served as fast as 
you throw the five baseballs at the coloured gen- 
tleman's head) Sarah took away with her the bill of 
fare. It was written m an almost unreadable script 
neither English nor German, and so arranged that 
if you were not careful you began with a toothpick 
and rice pudding and ended with soiip and the day of 
the week. 

142 The Four Million 

The next day Sarah showed SchuIcnbcFg a neat 
card on which the menu was beautifully typewritten 
with the viands temptingly marshalled under their 
right and proper heads from "hors d'cBUvre*' to *^ot 
responsible for overcoats and umbrellas." 

Schulcnbcrg became a naturalised citizen on the 
spot. Before Sarah left him she had him willingly 
committed to an agreement. She was to furnish 
typewritten biUs of fare for the twenty-one tables in 
the restaurant — a new bill for each day's dinner, and 
new ones for breakfast and lunch as often as changes 
occurred in the food or as neatness required. 

In return for this Schulenberg was to send three 
meals per dicin to Sarah's hall room by a waiter — an 
obsequious one if possible — and furnish her each 
afternoon with a pencil draft of what Fate had 
in store for Schulenberg's customers on the morrow. 

Mutual satisfaction resulted from the agreement. 
Schulenberg's patrons now knew what the food they 
ate was called even if its nature sometimes puzzled 
them. And Sarah had food during a cold, dull 
winter, which was the main thing with her. 

And then the almanac lied, and said that spring 
had come« Spring comes when it comes. The frozen 
snows of January still lay like adamant in the cross- 
town streets. The hand-organs still played ^^In the 

Springtime a la Carte 148 

Good Old Summertime," with their December vivae- 
itj and expression. Men began to make thirty-day 
votes to buy Easter dresses. Janitors shut off steam. 
And when these things happen one may know that 
the city is still m the clutches of winter. 

One afternoon Sarah shiyered in her elegant hall 
bedroom; ^^house heated; scrupulously ciean; con- 
veniences ; seen to be appreciated." She had no work 
to do except Schulenberg's menu cards. Sarah sat 
in her squeaky willow i^cker, and looked out the win- 
dow. The calendar on the wall kept crying to her: 
"Springtime is here, Sarah — springtime Is here, I 
tell you. Look at me, Sarah, my figures show it. 
YouVe got a neat figure yoorself , Sarah — a — nice 
springtime figure — why do you look out the window 
so sadly?" 

Sarah's room was at the back of the house. Look- 
ing out the window she could see the windowless 
rear brick wall of the box factory on the next srtreet. 
But the wall was clearest crystal ; and Sarah was look- 
ing down a grassy lane shaded with cherry trees and 
elms and bordered with raspberry bushes and Chero- 
kee roses. 

Spring's real harbingers are too subtle for the 
eye and ear. Some must have the flowering crocus, 
the wood-starring dogwood, the voioe of bluebird — 

144 The Four MiUion 

even so gross a reminder as the farewell handshake 
of the retiring buckwheat and oyster before they can 
welcome the Lady in Green to their dull bosoms. But 
to old earth's choicest kind there come straight, sweet 
messages from his newest bride, telling them they 
shall be no stepchildren imless they choose to be. 

On the previous summer Sarah had gone into the 
country and loved a farmer. 

(In writing your story never hark back thus. It 
is bad art, and cripples interest. Let it march, 

Sarah stayed two weeks at Sunnybrook Farm. 
There she learned to love old Farmer Franklin's son 
Walter. Farmers have been loved and wedded and 
turned out to grass in less time. But young Walter 
Franklin was a modern agriculturist. He had a tele- 
phone in his cow house, and he could figure up ex- 
actly what effect next year's Canada wheat crop 
would have on potatoes planted in the dark of the 

It was in this shaded and raspberried lane that 
Walter had wooed and won her. And together they 
had sat and woven a crown of dandelions for her 
hair. He had immoderately praised the effect of the 
yellow blossoms against her brown tresses; and she 

Springtime a la Carte 145 

had left the chaplet there, and walked back to the 
house swinging her straw sailor in her hands. 

They were to marry in the spring — at the very 
first signs of spring, Walter said. And Sarah came 
back to the city to pound her typewriter. 

A knock at the door dispelled Sarah's visions of 
that happy day. A waiter had brought the rough 
pencil draft of the Home Restaurant's next day fare 
in old Schulenberg's angular hand. 

Sarah sat down to her typewriter and slipped a 
card between the rollers. She was a nimble worker. 
Generally in an hour and a half the twenty-one menu 
cards were written and ready. 

To-day there were more changes on the bill of fare 
than usual. The soups were lighter ; pork was elimi- 
nated from the entrees, figuring only with Russian 
turnips among the roasts. The gracious spirit of 
spring pervaded the entire menu. Lamb, that lately 
capered on the greening hillsides, was becoming ex- 
ploited with the sauce that commemorated its gambols. 
The song of the oyster, though not silenced, was 
dimuendo con amore. The frying-pan seemed to 
be held, inactive, behind the beneficent bars of the 
broiler. The pie list swelled ; the richer puddings had 
vanished; the sausage, with his drapery wrapped 

146 The Four Million 

about him, barely lingered in a pleasant thanatopsu 
with the buckwheats and the sweet but doomed maple. 

Sarah's fingers danced like midgets above a sum- 
mer stream. Down through the courses she worked, 
giving each item its position according to its length 
with an accurate eye. 

Just above the desserts came the list of vegetables. 
Carrots and peas, asparagus on toast, the perennial 
tomatoes and corn and succotash, lima beans, cab- 
bage — and then — 

Sarah was crying over her bill of fare. Tears 
from the depths of some divine despair rose in her 
heart and gathered to iKjr eyes. Down went her hecui 
on the little typewriter stand; and the keyboard 
rattled a dry accompaniment to her moist sobs. 

For she had received no letter from Walter in two 
week«, and the next item on the bill of fare was 
dandelions — dandelions with some kind of ^gg — 
but bother the egg ! — dandelions, with whose golden 
blooms Walter had crowned her his queen of love 
and future bride — dandelions, the harbingers of 
spring, her sorrow's crown of sorrow — reminder of 
her happiest days. 

Madam, I dare you to smile until you suffer this 
test: Let the Marechal Niel roses that Percy 
brought you on the night you gave him your heart 

Springtime a la Carte 147 

be served as a salad with French dressing before 
your eyes at a Schulenberg table d'hote. Had Juliet 
so seen her love tokens dishonoured the sooner would 
she have sought the lethean herbs of the good apoth- 

But what a witch is Spring ! Into the great cold 
city of stone and iron a message had to be sent. 
There was none to convey it but the little hardy 
courier of the fields with his rough green coat and 
modest air. He is a true soldier of fortune, this 
dent-de-lion — this lion's tooth, as the French chefs 
call him. Flowered, be will assist at love-making, 
wreathed in my lady's nut-brown hair; young and 
callow and unblossomed, he goes into the boiling pot 
and delivers the word of his sovereign mistress. 

By and by Sarah forced back her tears. The 
cards must be written. But, still in a faint, golden 
glow from her dandcleonine dream, she fingered the 
typewriter keys absently for a little while, with her 
mind and heart in the meadow lane with her young 
farmer. But soon she came swiftly back to the 
rock-bound lanes of Manhattaa, and the typewriter 
began to rattle and jump like a strike-breaker's 
motor car. 

At 6 o'clock the waiter brought her dinner and 
carried away the typewritten bill of fare. When 

148 The Four Million 

Sarah ate she set aside, with a sigh, the dish of 
dandelions with its crowning ovarious accompani* 
ment. As tliis dark mass had been transformed 
from a bright and love-indorsed flower to be an 
ignominious vegetable, so had her summer hopes 
wilted and perished. Love may, as Shakespeare sa. ^, 
feed on itself: but Sarah could not bring herself 
to eat the dandelions that had graced, as ornaments, 
the first spiritual banquet of her heart's true affec- 

At 7.30 the couple in the next room began to quar- 
rel: the man in the room above sought for A on his 
flute; the gas went a little lower; three coal wagons 
started to unload — the only sound of which the 
phonograph is jealous; cats on the back fences 
slowly retreated toward Mukden. By these signs 
Sarah knew that it was time for her to read. She 
got out "The Cloister and the Hearth," the best 
non-selling book of the month, settled her feet on her 
trunk, and began to wander with Gerard. 

The front door bell rang. The landlady answered 
it. Sarah left Gerard and Denys treed by a bear 
and listened. Oh, yes ; you would, just as she did ! 

And then a strong voice was heard in the hall 
below, and Sarah jumped for her door,, leaving the 
book on the floor and the first round easily the bear's. 

Springtime a la Carte 149 

You have guessed it. She reached the top of the 
stairs just as her farmer came up, three at a jump, 
and reaped and garnered her, with nothing left for 
the gleaners. 

"Why haven't you written — oh, why?" cried 

"New York is a pretty large town," said Walter 
Franklin. "I came in a week ago to your old ad- 
dress. I found that you went away on a Thursday. 
That consoled some; it eliminated the possible Fri- 
day bad luck. But it didn't prevent my hunting 
for you with police and otherwise ever since !" 
'I wrote !" said Sarah, vehemently. 
'Never got it !" 

"Then how did you find me?" 

The young farmer smiled a springtime smile. 

"I dropped into that Home Restaurant next door 
this evening," said he. "I don't care who knows it; 
I like a dish of some kind of greens at this time of 
the year. I ran my eye down that nice typewritten 
bill of fare looking for something in that line. When 
I got below cabbage I turned my chair over and hol- 
lered for the proprietor. He told me where you 

"I remember," sighed Sarah, happily. "That 
was dandelions below cabbage." 


160 The Four Million 

"I'd know that cranky capital W 'way above the 
line that your typewriter makes anywhere in the 
world," said Franklin. 

*Why, there's no W in dandelions," said Sarah, 
in surprise. 

The young man drew the bill of fare from his 
pocket and pointed to a line. 

Sarah recognised the first card she had typewrit-- 
ten that afternoon. There was still the rayed 
splotch in the upper right-hand comer where a tear 
had fallen. But over the spot where one should have 
read the name of the meadow plant, the clinging 
memory of their golden blossoms had allowed her 
fingers to strike strange keys. 

Between the red cabbage and the stuiFed green pep- 
pers was the Item : 



Suppose you should be walking down Broad- 
way after dinner, with ten minutes allotted to 
the consummation of your cigar while you are 
choosing between a diverting tragedy and some- 
thing serious in the way of vaudeville. Suddenly a 
hand is laid upon your arm. You turn to look into 
the thrilling e3^cs of a beautiful woman, wonderful in 
diamonds and Russian sables. She thrusts hurriedly 
into your hand an extremely hot buttered roll, flashes 
out a tiny pair of scissors, snips off the sec- 
ond button of your overcoat, meaningly ejaculates 
the one word, "parallelogram!" and swiftly flies 
down a cross street, looking back fearfully over her 

That would be pure adventure. Would you ac- 
cept it? Not you. You would flush with embar- 
rassment; you would sheepishly drop the roll and 
continue down Broadway, fumbling feebly for the 
missing button. This you would do unless you are 
one of the blessed few in whom tibe pure spirit of 
adventure is not dead. 


152 The Four MUUon 

True adventurers have never been plentiful. They 
who are set down in print as such have been mostly 
business men with newly invented methods. They 
have been out after the things they wanted — golden 
fleeces, holy grails, lady loves, treasure, crowns and 
fame. The true adventurer goes forth aimless and 
uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate. A 
Jfine example was the Prodigal Son — when he started 
back home. 

Half-adventurers — brave and splendid figures — 
have been numerous. From the Crusades to the 
Palisades they have enriched the arts of history and 
fiction and the trade of historical fiction. But each 
of them had a prize to win, a goal to kick, an axe to 
grind, a race to run, a new thrust in tierce to deliver, 
a name to carve, a crow to pick — so they were not 
followers of true adventure. 

In the big city the twin spirits Romance and Ad- 
venture are always abroad seeking worthy wooers. 
As we roam the streets they slyly peep at us and 
challenge us in twenty diflFerent guises. Without 
knowing why, we look up suddenly to see in a win- 
dow a face that seems to belong to our gallery of 
intimate portraits; in a sleeping thoroughfare we 
hear a cry of agony and fear coming from an empty 
and shuttered house ; instead of at our familiar curb 

The Green Door 153 

a cab-driver deposits us before a strange door, which 
one, with a smile, opens for us and bids us enter; 
a slip of paper, written upon, flutters down to our 
feet from the high lattices of Chance; we exchange 
glances of instantaneous hate, affection and fear with 
hurrying strangers in the passing crowds; a sudden 
gousc of rain — and our umbrella may be sheltering 
the daughter of the Full Moon and first cousin of the 
Sidereal System; at every corner handkerchiefs 
drop, fingers beckon, eyes besiege, and the lost, the 
lonely, the rapturous, the mysterious, the perilous, 
changing clues of adventure are slipped into our 
fingers. But few of us are willing to hold and follow 
them. We are grown stiff with the ramrod of con- 
vention down our backs. We pass on ; and some day 
we come, at the end of a very dull life, to reflect that 
our romance has been a pallid thing of a marriage or 


Rudolph Steiner was a true adventurer. Few were 
the evenings on which he did not go forth from his 
hall bedchamber in search of the unexpected and the 
egregious. The most interesting thing in life seemed 
to him to be what might He just around the next 
corner. Sometimes his willingness to tempt fate led 
him into strange paths. Twice he had spent the 

two, a satin rosette kept in a safe-deposit drawer, 
nd a lifelong feud with a steam radiator. / 1 . 

154 The Four Million 

night in a station-house; again and again he had 
found hjMself the dupe of ingenious and mercenary 
tricksters; his watch and money had been the price 
of one flattering allurement. But with undiminished 
ardour he picked up every glove cast before him into 
the merry lists of adventure. 

One evening Rudolf was strolling along a cro8»- 
town street in the older central part of the city. 
Two streams of people filled the sidewalks — the 
home-hurrying, and that restless contingent that 
abandons home for the specious welcome of tlie thou- 
sand-candle-power table d'hote. 

The young adventurer was of pleasing presence, 
and moved serenely and watchfully. By daylight he 
was a salesman in a piano store. He wore his tic 
drawn through a topaz ring instead of fastened with 
a stick pin ; and once he had written to the editor of a 
magazine that "Junie's Love Test," by Miss Libbey, 
had been the book that had most influenced his life. 

During his walk a violent chattering of teeth in a 
glass case on the sidewalk seemed at first to draw his 
attention (with a qualm), to a restaurant before 
which it was set; but a second glance revealed the 
electric letters of a dentist's sign high above the 
next door. A giant negro, fantastically dressed in 
a red embroidered coat, yellow trousers and a mili- 

The Grreen Door 155 

tary cap, discreetly distributed cards to those of the 
passing crowd who consented to take them. 

This mode of dentistic advertising was a common 
sight to Rudolf. Usually he passed the dispenser of 
the dentist's cards without reducing his store; but 
to-night the African slipped one into his hand so 
deftly that he retained it there smiling a little at the 
successful feat. 

When he had travelled a few yards further he 
glanced at the card indifferently. Surprised, he 
turned it over and looked again with interest. One 
side of the card was blank ; on the other was written 
in ink three words, "The Green Door." And then 
Rudolf saw, three steps in front of him, a man throw 
down the card the negro had given him as he passed. 
Rudolf picked it up. It was printed with the 
dentist's name and address and the usual schedule 
of "plate work" and "bridge work" and "crowns," 
and specious promises of ^^painless" operations. 

The adventurous piano salesman halted at the cor- 
ner and considered. Then he crossed the street, 
walked down a block, recrossed and joined the up- 
ward current of people again. Without seeming to 
notice the negro as he passed the second time, he 
carelessly took the card that was handed him. Ten 
steps away he inspected it. In the same handwriting 

156 The Four Million 

that appeared on the first card "The Green Door" 
was inscribed upon it. Three or four cards were 
tossed to the pavement by pedestrians both following 
and leading him. These fell blank side up. Rudolf 
turned them over. Every one bore the printed legend 
of the dental "parlours." 

Rarely did the arch sprite Adventure need to 
beckon twice to Rudolf Steiner, his true follower. 
But twice it had been done, and the quest was on. 

Rudolf walked slowly back to where the giaut 
negro stood by the case of rattling teeth. This 
time as he passed he received no card. In spite of his 
gaudy and ridiculous garb, the Ethiopian displayed 
a natural barbaric dignity as he stood, offering the 
cards suavely to some, allowing others to pass unmo- 
lested. Every half minute he chanted a harsh, un^ 
intelligible phrase akin to the jabber of car con- 
ductors and grand opera. And not only did he 
withhold a card this time, but it seemed to Rudolf 
that he received from the shining and massive black 
countenance a look of cold, almost contemptuous dis- 

The look stung the adventurer. He read in it a 
silent accusation that he had been found wanting. 
[Whatever the mysterious written words on the cards 

TJie Green Door 15T 

might mean, the black had selected him twice from 
the throng for their recipient; and now seemed to 
hare condemned him as deficient in the wit and spirit 
to engage the enigma. 

Standing aside from the rush, the young man 
made a rapid estimate of the building in which he 
conceived that his adventure must lie. Five stories 
high it rose. A small restaurant occupied the base- 

The first floor, now closed, seemed to house 
millinery or furs. The second floor, by the winking 
electric letters, was the dentist's. Above this a poly- 
glot babel of signs struggled to indicate the abodes 
of palmists, dressmakers, musicians and doctors. 
Still higher up draped curtains and milk bottles white 
on the window sills proclaimed the regions of do- 

After concluding his survey Rudolf walked briskly 
up the high flight of stone steps into the house. Up 
two flights of the carpeted stairway he continued; 
and at its top paused. The hallway there was dimly 
lighted by two pale jets of gas — one far to his right, 
the other nearer, to his left. He looked toward the 
nearer light and saw, within its wan halo, a green 
door. For one moment he hesitated ; then he seemed 

158 The Four Million 

to see the contumelious sneer of the African juggler 
of cards; and then he walked straight to the green 
door and knocked against it. 

Moments like those that passed before his knock 
was answered measure the quick breath of true ad- 
venture. What might not be behind those green 
panels ! Gamesters at play ; cunning rogues baiting 
their traps with subtle skill; beauty in love with 
courage, and thus planning to be sought by it; 
danger, death, love, disappointment, ridicule — any 
of these might respond to that temerarious rap. 

A faint rustle was heard inside, and the door 
slowly opened. A girl not yet twenty stood there, 
white-faced and tottering. She loosed the knob and 
swayed weakly, groping with one hand. Rudolf 
caught her and laid her on a faded couch that stood 
against the wall. He closed the door and took a 
swift glance around the room by the light of a flicker- 
ing gas jet. Neat, but extreme poverty was the 
story that he read. 

The girl lay still, as if in a faint. Rudolf looked 
around the room excitedly for a barrel. People must 
be rolled upon a barrel who — no, no ; that was for 
drowned persons. He began to fan her with his hat. 
That was successful, for he struck her nose with the 
brim of his derby and she opened her eyes. And 

The Green Door 159 

then the young man saw that hers, indeed, was the 
one missing face from his heart's gallery of inti- 
mate portraits. The frank, grey eyes, the little 
nose, turning pertly outward; the chestnut hair, 
curling like the tendrils of a pea vine, seemed the 
right end and reward of all his wonderful adventures. 
But the face was wofuUy thin and pale. 

The girl looked at him cahnly, and then smiled. 

"Fainted, didn't I?" she asked, weakly. "WeU, 
who wouldn't? You try going without anything to 
eat for three days and see !" 

**Himmel!" exclaimed Rudolf, jumping up. 
"Wait till I come back." 

He dashed out the green door and down the stairs. 
In twenty minutes he was back again, kicking at the 
door with his toe for her to open it. With both arms 
he hugged an array of wares from the grocery and 
the restaurant. On the table he laid them — bread 
and butter, cold meats, cakes, pies, pickles, oysters, 
a roasted chicken, a bottle of milk and one of red- 
hot tea. 

"This lis ridiculous," said Rudolf, blusteringly, 
"to go without eating. You must quit making elec- 
tion bets of this kind. Supper is ready." He helped 
her to a chair at the table and asked: "Is there a 
cup for the tea?" "On the shelf by the window," 

160 The Four Million 

she answered. When he turned again with the cup 
he saw her, with eyes shining rapturously, begin- 
ning upon a huge Dill pickle that she had rooted 
•ut from the paper bags with a woman's unerring in- 
stinct. He took it from her, laughingly, and poured 
the cup full of milk. "Drink that first," he ordered, 
**and then you shall have some tea, and then a 
chicken wing. If you are very good you shall have 
a pickle to-morrow. And now, if you'll allow me to 
be your guest we'll have supper." 

He drew up the other chair. The tea brightened 
the girl's eyes and brought back some of her colour. 
She began to eat with a sort of dainty ferocity 
like some starved wild animal. She seemed to regard 
the young man's presence and the aid he had ren- 
dered her as a natural thing — not as though she 
undervalued the conventions ; but as one whose great 
stress gave her the right to put aside the artificial 
for the human. But gradually, with the return of 
strength and comfort, came also a sense of the little 
conventions that belong; and she began to tell him 
her little story. It was one of a thousand such as 
the city yawns at every day — the shop girPs story 
of insufficient wages, further reduced by **fincs" 
that go to swell the store's profits; of time lost 
through illness ; and then of lost positions, lost hope. 

The Green Boor 161 

and — the knock of the adventurer upon the green 

But to Rudolf the history sounded as big as the 
Iliad or the crisis in "Junie's Love Test." 

**To think of you going through all that,'' he ex- 

**It was something fierce," said the girl, solemnly. 

**And you have no relatives or friends in the 

"None whatever." 

"I am all alone in the world, too," said Rudolf, 
after a pause. 

"I am glad of that," said the girl, promptly ; and 
somehow it pleased the young man to hear that she 
approved of his bereft condition. 

Very suddenly her eyelids dropped and she sighed 

*'I'm awfully sleepy," she said, "and I feel so 

Rudolf rose and took his hat. 

"Then I'll say good-night. A long night's sleep 
will be fine for you." 

He held out his hand, and she took it and said 
"good-night." But her eyes asked a question so 
eloquently, so frankly and pathetically that he an- 
swered it with words. 

162 The Four Million 

"Oh, I'm coming back to-morrow to see how you 
are getting along. You can't get rid of me sa 

Then, at the door, as though the way of his 
coming had been so much less important than the 
fact that he had come, she asked: "How did you 
come to knock at my door?" 

He looked at her for a moment, remembering the 
cards, and felt a sudden jealous pain. What if they 
had fallen into other hands as adventurous as his? 
Quickly he decided that she must never know the 
truth. He would never let her know that he was 
aware of the strange expedient to which she had 
been driven by her great distress. 

"One of our piano tuners lives in this house," he 
said. "I knocked at your door by mistake." 

The last thing he saw in the room before the green 
door closed was her smile. 

At the head of the stairway he paused and looked 
curiously about him. And then he went along the 
hallway to its other end ; and, coming back, ascended 
to the floor above and continued his puzzled explora- 
tions. Every door that he found in the house was 
painted green. 

Wondering, he descended to the sidewalk* The 

The Green Door 163 

fantastic African was still there. Rudolf confronted 
him with his two cards in his hand. 

"Will you tell me why you gave me these cards 
and what they mean?" he asked. 

In a broad, good-natured grin the negro exhib- 
ited a splendid advertisement of his master's profes- 

"Dar it is, boss," he said, pointing down the 
street. *'But I 'spect you is a little late for de fust 

Looking the way he pointed Rudolf saw above the 
entrance to a theatre the blazing electric sign of its 
new play, "The Green Door." 

"I'm informed dat it's a fust-rate show, sah," said 
the negro. "De agent what represents it pussented 
me with a dollar, sah, to distribute a few of his cards 
along with de doctah's. May I offer you one of de 
doctah's cards, suh.'*" 

At the corner of the block in which he lived Rudolf 
stopped for a glass of beer and a cigar. When he 
had come out with his lighted weed he buttoned his 
coat, pushed back his hat and said, stoutly, to the 
lamp post on the comer: 

**A11 the same, I believe it was the hand of Fate 
that doped out the way for me to find her." 

164 The Four MilUon 

Which conclusion, under the circumetances, ccr* 
tainly admits Rudolf Steiner to the ranks of the true 
followers of Romance and Adventure, 


T^HE cabby has his point of view. It is more 
single-minded, perhaps, than that of a follower of 
any other calling. From the high, swaying seat of 
his hansom he looks upon his feliow-uien as nomadic 
particles, of no account except when possessed of 
migratory desires. He is Jehu, and you are goods 
in transit. Be you President or vagabond, to cabby 
you are only a Fare. He takes you up, cracks his 
whip, joggles your vertebrae and sets you down. 

When time for payment arrives, if you exhibit a 
familiarity with legal rates you come to know what 
contempt is; if you find that you have left your 
pocketbook behind you are made to realise the mild- 
ness of Dante's imagination. 

It is not an extravagant theory that the cabby's 

singleness of purpose and concentrated view of life 

are the results of the hansom's peculiar constructicm. 

The cock-of-the-roost sits aloft like Jupiter on an 

unsharable seat, holding your fate between two 

thongs of inconstant leather. Helpless, ridiculous, 

confined, bobbing like a toy mandarin, you sit like 


1«C The Four Million 

a rat in a trap — you, before whom butlers cringe 
on solid land — and must squeak upward through a 
slit in your peripatetic sarcophagus to make your 
feeble wishes known. 

Then, in a cab, you are not even an occupant; 
you are contents. You are a cargo at sea, and the 
"cherub tliat sits up aloft" has Davy Jones's street 
and number by heart. 

One night there were sounds of revelry in the big 
brick tenement-house next door but one to McGary's 
Family Cafe. The sounds seemed to emanate from 
the apartments of the Walsh family. The sidewalk 
was obstructed by an assortment of interested neigh- 
bours, who opened a lane front time to time for a 
hurrying messenger bearing from McGary'a goods 
pertinent to festivity and diversion. The sidewalk 
contingent was engaged in comment and discussion 
from which it made no effort to eliminate the news 
that Norah Walsh was being married. 

In the fulness of time there was an eruption of 
the merry-makers to the sidewalk. The uninvited 
guests enveloped and permeated them, and upon the 
night air rose joyous cries, congratulations, laugh* 
ter and unclassified noises bom of McGary's obla- 
tions to the hymeneal scene. 

Close to the curb stood Jerry O'Donovan's cab. 

From the Cabby's Seat 167 

Night-hawk was Jerry called ; but no more lustrous 
or cleaner hansom than his ever closed its doors upon 
point lace and November violets. And Jerry's horse ! 
I am within bounds when I tell you that he was 
stuffed with oats until one of those old ladies who 
leave their dishes unwashed at home and go about 
having expressmen arrested, would have smiled — 
yes, smiled — to have seen him. 

Among the shifting, sonorous, pulsing crowd 
glimpses could be had of Jerry's high hat, battered 
by the winds and rains of many years; of his nose 
like a carrot, battered by the frolicsome, athletic 
progeny of millionaires and by contumacious fares; 
of his brass-buttoned green coat, admired in the vi- 
cinity of McGary's. It was plain that Jerry had 
usurped the functions of his cab, and was carrying 
a "load." Indeed, the figure may be extended and 
he be likened to a bread-waggon if we admit the tes- 
timony of a youthful spectator, who was heard to 
remark "Jerry has got a bun." 

From somewhere among the throng in the street 
or else out of the thin stream of pedestrians a young 
woman tripped and stood by the cab. The profes- 
sional hawk's eye of Jerry caught the movement. He 
made a lurch for the cab, overturning three or four 
onlookers and himself — no! he caught the cap of 

168 The Four Million 

a water-plug and kept his feet. Like a sailor shin- 
ning up the ratlins during a squall Jerry mounted 
to his professional seat. Once he was there McGary's 
liquid's were bai&ed. He seesawed on the mizzenmast 
of liis craft as safe as a Steeple Jack rigged to the 
flagpole of a skyscraper. 

"Step in, lady," said Jerry, gathering his lines. 

The young woman stepped into the cab ; the doors 
shut with a bang; Jerry's whip cracked in the air; 
the crowd in the gutter scattered, and the fine han- 
som dashed away 'crosstown. 

When the oat-spry horse had hedged a little his 
first spurt of speed Jerry broke the lid of his cab 
and called down through the aperture in the voice 
of a cracked megaphone, trying to please: 

"Where, now, will ye be drivin' to?" 

"Anywhere you please," came up the answer, mu- 
sical and contented. 

" 'Tis drivin' for pleasure she is," thought Jerry. 
And then he suggested as a matter of course: 

"Take a thrip around in the park, lady. 'Twill 
be ilegant cool and fine." 

"Just as you like," answered the fare, pleasantly. 

The cab headed for Fifth avenue and sped up that 
perfect street. Jerry bounced and swayed in his 
seat. The potent fluids of McGary were disquieted 

Froin the Cabby's Seat 169 

and they sent new fumes to his head. He sang an 
ancient song of Eillisnook and brandished Iiis whip 
like a baton. 

Inside the cab the fare sat up straight on the 
cushions, looking to right and left at the lights and 
houses. Even in the shadowed liansom her eyes shone 
like stars at twilight. 

When they reached Fifty-ninth street Jerry's head 
was bobbing and his reins were slack. But his horse 
turned in through the park gate and began the old 
familiar nocturnal round. And then the fare leaned 
back, entranced, and breathed deep the clean, whole- 
some odours of grass and leaf and bloom. And the 
wise beast in the shafts, knowing his ground, struck 
into his by-the-hour gait and kept to the right of 
the road. 

Habit also struggled successfully against Jerry's 
increasing torpor. He raised the hatch of his storm- 
tossed vessel and made the inquiry that cabbies do 
make in the park. 

"Like shtop at the Cas-sino, lady? Gezzer 
r'freshm's, 'n lish'n the music. Ev'body shtops." 

"I think that would be nice," said the fare. 

They reined up with a plunge at the Casino en- 
trance. The cab doors flew open. The fare stepped 
directly upon the floor. At once she was caught in a 

170 The Four Million 

web of ravishing music and dazzled by a panorama 
of lights and colours. Some one slipped a little 
square card into her hand on which was printed a 
number — 34. She looked around and saw her cab 
twenty yards away already lining up in its place 
among the waiting mass of carriages, cabs and motor 
cars. And then a man who seemed to be all shirt- 
front danced backward before her ; and next she was 
seated at a little table by a railing over which climbed 
a jessamine vine. 

There seemed to be a wordless invitation to pur- 
chase; she consulted a collection of small coins in a 
thin purse, and received from them license to order 
a glass of beer. There she sat, inhaling and absorb- 
ing it all — the new-coloured, new-shaped life in a 
fairy palace in an enchanted wood. 

At fifty tables sat princes and queens clad in all 
the silks and gems of the world. And now and then 
one of them would look curiously at Jerry's fare. 
They saw a plain figure dressed in a pink silk of the 
kind that is tempered by the word "foulard," and a 
plain face that wore a look of love of life that the 
queens envied. 

Twice the long hands of the clocks went round. 
Royalties thinned from their al fresco thrones, and 

From the Cabby's Seat 171 

buzzed or clattered away in their vehicles of stale. 
The music retired into cases of wood and bags of 
leather and baize. Waiters removed cloths point- 
edly near the plain figure sitting almost alone. 

Jerry's fare rose, and held out her numbered card 
simply : 

"Is there anything coming on the ticket?" she 

A waiter told her it was her cab check, and that 
she should give it to the man at the entrance. This 
man took it, and called the number. Only three 
hansoms stood in line. The driver of one of them 
went and routed out Jerry asleep in his cab. He 
swore deeply, climbed to the captain's bridge and 
steered his craft to tljc pier. His fare entered, and 
the cab whirled into the cool fastnesses of the park 
along the shortest homeward cuts. 

At the gate a glimmer »f reason in the form of 
sudden suspicion seized upon Jerry's beclouded mind. 
One or two things occurred to him. He stopped 
his horse, raised the trap and dropped his phono- 
graphic voi<ce, like a lead plummet, through the 
aperture : 

"I want to see four dollars before goin' any fur- 
ther on th' thrip. Have ye got th' dough?'* 

172 The Four Million 

"PottT dollars!" laughed the fare, softly, "dear 
mc, no. I've only got a few pennies and a dime or 

Jerry shut down the trap and slashed his pat-fed 
horse. The clatter of hoofs strangled but could not 
drown the sound of his profanity. He shouted chok- 
ing and gurgling curses at the starry heavens; he 
cut viciously with his whip at passing vehicles; he 
scattered fierce and ever-changing oaths and impre- 
cations along the streets, so that a late truck driver, 
crawling homeward, heard and was abashed. But 
he knew his recourse, and made for it at a gallop. 

At the house with the green lights beside the steps 
he pulled up. He flung wide the cab doors and tum- 
bled licavily to the ground. 

**Came on, you," he said, roughly. 

His fare came forth with the Casino dreamy smile 
still on her plain face. Jerry took her by the arm 
and led her into the police station. A gray-mous- 
tachcd sergeant looked keenly across the desk. He 
and the cabby were no strangers. 

"Sargeant," began Jerry in his old raucous, mar- 
tyred, thunderous tones of complaint. "Pve got a 
fare here that — " 

Jerry paused. He drew a knotted, red hand across 

From the Cabby's Seat 178 

kk brow. The fog set up by McGary was !jeguming 
to clear away. 

"A fare, sargeant," he continued, with a grin, 
"that I want to inthroduce to ye. It's me wife that 
I married at ould man Walsh's this avening. And a 
divil of a time we had, 'tis tlirue. Shake hands wid 
th' sargeant, Norah, and we'll be off to home.'* 

Before stepping into the cab Norah sighed pro* 

"I've had such a nice time, Jerry," said she. 


VVi^ no longer groan and heap ashes upon our 
heads when the flames of Tophet are mentioned* 
For, even the preachers have begun to tell us that 
God is radium, or ether or some scientific compound^ 
and that the worst we wicked ones may expect is 
a chemical reaction. This is a pleading hypothesis; 
but there lingers yet some of the old, goodly terror 
of orthodoxy. 

There are but two subjects upon which one may 
discourse with a free imagination, and without the 
possibility of being controverted. You may talk 
of your dreams; and you may tell what you heard 
a parrot say. Both Morpheus and the bird are in- 
competent witnesses; and your listener dare not at- 
tack your recital. The baseless fabric of a vision, 
then, shall furnish my theme — chosen with apologies 
and regrets instead of the more limited field of pretty 
Polly's small talk. 

I had a dream that was so far removed from the 

higher criticism that it had to do with the ancient, 

respectable, and lamented bar-of-judgment theory. 


An Unfinished Story 175 

Gabriel had played his trump; and those of us 
who could not follow suit were arraigned for exam- 
ination. I noticed at one side a gathering of profes- 
sional bondsmen in solemn black and collars that 
buttoned behind ; but it seemed there was some trou- 
ble about their real estate titles; and they did not 
appear to be getting any of us out. 

A fly cop — an angel policeman — flew over to me 
and took me by the left wing. Near at hand was 
a group of very prosperous-looking spirits arraigned 
for judgment. 

"Do you belong with that bunch?" the policeman 

"Who are they.**" was my answer. 

"Why," said he, "they are — " 

But this irrelevant stuff is taking up space that 
the story should occupy. 

Dulcie worked in a department store. She sold 
Hamburg edging, or stuffed peppers, or automobiles, 
or other little trinkets such as they keep in depart- 
ment stores. Of what she earned, Dulcie received six 
dollars per week. The remainder was credited to 
her and debited to somebody else's account in the 

ledger kept by G Oh, primal energy, you say. 

Reverend Doctor — Well then, in the Ledger of Pri- 
mal Energy. 

176 The Four Million 

During her first year in the store, Dulcie was paid 
five dollars per week. It would be instructive to 
know how she lived on that amount. Don't care? 
Very well; probably you are interested in larger 
amounts. Six dollars is a larger amount. I will tell 
you how she lived on six dollars per week. 

One afternoon at six, when Dulcie was sticking her 
hat-pin within an eighth of an inch of her meduUa 
oblongata^ she said to her chum, Sadie — the girl 
that waits on you with her left side : 

"Say, Sade, I made a date for dinner this evening 
with Piggy." 

"You never did!" exclaimed Sadie admiringly. 
*Well, ain't you the lucky one? Piggy's an awful 
swell ; and he always takes a girl to swell places. He 
took Blanche up to the Hoffman House one evening, 
where they have swell music, and you see a lot of 
swells. You'll have a swell time, Dulce." 

Dulcie hurried homeward. Her eyes were shining, 
and her cheeks showed the delicate pink of life's — 
real life's — approaching dawn. It was Friday ; 
and she had fifty cents left of her last week's wages. 

The streets were filled with the rush-hour floods of 
people. The electric lights of Broadway were glow- 
ing — calling moths from miles, from leagues, from 
hundreds of leagues out of darkness around to come 

An UnfinisJied Story 177 

in and attend the singeing school. Men in accurate 
clothes, with faces like those carved on cherry stones 
by the old salts in sailors' homes, turned and stared 
at Dulcie as she sped, unheeding, past them. Man- 
hattan, the night-blooming cereus, was beginning to 
unfold its dead- white, heavy-odoured petals. 

Dulcie stopped in a store where goods were cheap 
and bought an imitation lace collar with her fifty 
cents. That money was to have been spent other- 
wise — fifteen cents for supper, ten cents for break- 
fast, ten cents for lunch. Another dime was to be 
added to her small store of savings; and five cents 
was to be squandered for licorice drops — the kind 
that made your cheek look like the toothache, and 
last as long. The licorice was an extravagance — 
almost a carouse — but what is life without pleas- 

Dulcie lived in a furnished room. There is this 
difference between a furnished room and a boarding- 
house. In a furnished room, other people do not 
know it when you go hungry. 

Dulcie went up to her room — the tliird floor back 
in a West Side brownstone-front. She lit the gas. 
Scientists tell us that the diamond is the hardest sub- 
stance known. Their mistake. Landlndir^s know of 
a compound beside which the diamond is as putty* 

178 The Four Million 

They pack it in the tips of gas-burners ; and one may 
stand on a chair and dig at it in vain until one's 
fingers are pink and bruised. A hairpin will not 
remove it ; therefore let us call it immovable. 

So Dulcie lit the gas. In its one-fourth-candle- 
power glow we will observe the room. 

Couch-bed, dresser, table, washstand, chair — of 
this much the landlady was guilty. The rest was 
Dulcie's. On the dresser were her treasures — a gilt 
china vase presented to her by Sadie, a calendar 
issued by a pickle works, a book on the divination 
of dreams, some rice powder in a glass dish, and 
a cluster of artificial cherries tied with a pink rib- 

Against the wrinkly mirror stood pictures of Gen- 
eral Kitchener, William Muldoon, the Duchess of 
Marlborough, and Benvenuto Cellini. Against one 
wall was a plaster of Paris plaque of an O'Callahan 
in a Roman helmet. Near it was a violent oleograph 
of a lemon-coloured child assaulting an inflammatory 
butterfly. This was Dulcie's final judgment in art; 
but it had never been upset. Her rest had never 
been disturbed by whispers of stolen copes ; no critic 
had elevated his eyebrows at her infantile entomol- 

Piggy was to call for her at seven. While she 

An Unfinished Story 179 

swiftly makes ready, let us discreetly face the other 
way and gossip. 

For the room, Dulcie paid two dollars per week. 
On week-days her breakfast cost ten cents ; she made 
coffee and cooked an egg over the gaslight while she 
was dressing. On Sunday mornings she feasted roy- 
ally on veal chops and pineapple fritters at 
"Billy's" restaurant, at a cost of twenty-five cents 

— and tipped the waitress ten cents. New York 
presents so many temptations for one to run into 
extravagance. She had her lunches in the depart- 
ment-store restaurant at a cost of sixty cents for tlie 
week; dinners were $1.05. The evening papers — 
show me a New Yorker going without his daily paper! 

— came to six cents ; and two Sunday papers — one 
for the personal column and the other to read — 
were ten cents. The total amounts to $4.76. Now, 
one has to buy clothes, and — 

I give it up. I hear of wonderful bargains in 
fabrics, and of miracles performed with needle and 
thread; but I am in doubt. I hold my pen poised 
in vain when I would add to Dulcie's life some of 
those joys that belong to woman by virtue of all the 
unwritten, sacred, natural, inactive ordinances of the 
equity of heaven. Twice she had been to Coney Is- 
land and had ridden the hobby-horses. 'Tis a weary 

180 The Four Million 

thing to count jour pleasures by summers instead 
of by hours. 

Piggy needs but a word. When the girls named 
him, an undeserving stigma was cast upon the noble 
family of swine. The words-of -three-letters lesson in 
the old blue spelling book begins with Piggy's biog- 
raphy. He was fat; he had the soul of a rat, the 
habits of a bat, and the magnanimity of a cat. . . . 
He wore expensive clothes ; and was a connoisseur in 
starvation. He could look at a shop-girl and tell 
you to an hour how long it had been since she had 
eaten anything more nourishing than marshmallows 
and tea. He hung about the shopping districts, and 
prowled around in department stores with his invi- 
tations to dinner. INIen who escort dogs upon the 
streets at the end of a string look down upon him. 
He is a type; I can dwell upon him no longer; my 
pen is not the kind intended for him; I am no car- 

At ten minutes to seven Dulcie was ready. She 
looked at herself in the wrinkly mirror. Tlie reflec- 
tion was satisfactor3\ The dark blue dress, fitting 
without a wrinkle, the hat with its jaunty black 
feather, the buc-sllghtly-soiled gloves — all repre- 
senting self-denial, even of food itself — were vastly 

An Unfinished Story 181 

Dulcie forgot everything else for a moment €?x- 
cept that she was beautiful, and that life was about 
to lifb a corner of its mysterious veil for lier to ob- 
serve its wonders. No gentleman had ever asked her 
out before. Now she was going for a brief moment 
into the ghtter and exalted show. 

Tlie girls said that Piggy was a "spender." 
There would be a grand dinner, and music, and 
splendidly dressed ladies to look at, and things to eat 
that strangely twisted the girls' jaws when tliey tried 
to tell about them. No doubt she would be asked out 

There was a blue pongee suit in a window that 
she knew — by saving twenty cents a week instead 
of ten, in — let's see — 'Oh, it would run into years! 
But tliere was a second-hand store in Seventh Avenue 
wnere — 

Somebody knocked at the door. Dulcie opened it. 
The landlady stood there with a spurious smile, sniff- 
ing for cooking by stolen gas. 

"A gentleman's downstairs to see you,'* she said. 
"Name is Mr. Wiggins." 

By such epithet was Piggy known to unfortunate 
ones who had to take him seriously. 

Dulcie turned to the dresser to ^et her handker- 
chief ; and then she stopped still, and bit her under* 

182 The Four Million 

lip hard. While looking in her mirror ^he had seen 
fairyland and herself, a princess, just awakening 
from a long slumber. She had forgotten one that 
was watching her with sad, beautiful, stern eyes — 
the only one tliere was to approve or condemn what 
she did. Straight and slender and tall, with a look 
of sorrowful reproach on his handsome, melancholy 
face. General Kitchener fixed his wonderful eyes on 
her out of his gilt photograph frame on the dresser. 

Dulcie turned like an automatic doll to the land- 

"Tell him I can't go," she said dully. "Tell hun 
I'm sick, or something. Tell him I'm not going 

After the door was closed and locked, Dulcie fell 
upon her bed, crushing her black tip, and cried for 
ten minutes. General Kitchener was her only friend. 
He was Dulcie's ideal of a gallant knight. He 
looked as if he might have a secret sorrow, and his 
wonderful moustache was a dream, and she was a 
little afraid of that stem yet tender look in his eyes. 
She used to have little fancies that he would call at 
the house sometime, and ask for her, with his sword 
clanking against his high boots. Once, when a boy 
was rattling a piece of chain against a lamp-post she 

An Unfinished Story 183 

had opened the window and looked out. But there 
was no use. She knew that General Kitchener was 
away over in Japan, leading his army against the 
savage Turks ; and he would never step out of his 
gilt frame for her. Yet one look from him had van- 
quished Piggy tliat night. Yes, for that night. 

When lier cry was over Dulcie got up and took 
off her best dress, and put on her old blue kimono. 
She wanted no dinner. She sang two verses of 
*'Sammy." Then she became intensely interested in 
a little red speck on the side of her nose. And after 
that was attended to, she drew up a chair to the 
rickety table, and told her fortune with an old deck 
of cards. 

"The horrid, impudent thing!" she said aloud. 
**And I never gave him a word or a look to make 
him think it !" 

At nine o'clock Dulcie took a tin box of crackers 
and a little pot of raspberry jam out of her trunk, 
and had a feast. She offered General Kitchener 
some jam on a cracker; but he only looked at her as 
the sphinx would have looked at a butterfly — if 
there are butterflies in the desert. 

"Don't eat it if you don't want to," said Dulcie. 
And don't put on so many airs and scold so with 


184 The Four Million 

your eyes. I wonder if you'd be so superior and 
snippy if you had to live on six dollars a week.'* 

It was not a good sign for Dulcie to be rude to 
General Kitchener. And then she turned Benvenuto 
Cellini face downward with a severe gesture. But 
that was not inexcusable ; for she had always thought 
he was Henry VIII, and she did not approve of 

At half-past nine Dulcie took a last look at the 
pictures on the dresser, turned out the light, and 
skipped into bed. It's an awful thing to go to bed 
with a good-night look at General Kitchener, William 
Muldoon, the Duchess of Marlborough, and Ben- 
venuto Cellini. 

This story really doesn't get anywhere at all. The 
rest of it comes later — sometime when Piggy asks 
Dulcie again to dine with him, and she is feeling 
lonelier than usual, and General Kitchener happens 
to be looking the other way ; and then — r- 

As I said before, I dreamed that I was standing 
near a crowd of prosperous-looking angels, and a 
policeman took me by the wing and asked if I be- 
longed with tliem* 

**Who are they?" I asked. 

"Why,'' said he, "they are the men who hired 


An Unfirmhed Story 185 

working^girlfi, and paid 'era five or six dollars a week 
to live on. Are you one of the bunch?" 

"Not on your immortality," said I. "Fm only 
the fellow that set fire to an orphan asylirai, and 
murdered a blind man for his pennies." 


PillNCE MICHAEL, of the Electorate of Val- 
leliiua, sat on his favourite bench in the park. The 
coolness of the September night quickened the life 
in him like a rare, tonic wine. Tlie benches were 
not filled; for park loungers, with their stagnant 
blood, are prompt to detect and fiy home from the 
crispness of early autumn. The moon was just clear- 
ing the roofs of the range of dwelUngs that bounded 
the quadrangle on the east. Children laughed and 
played about the fine-sprayed fountain. In the 
shadowed spots fauns and hamadryads wooed, un- 
conscious of the gaze of mortal eyes. A hand organ 
— Philomel by the grace of our stage carpenter. 
Fancy — Huted and droned in a side street. Around 
the enchanted boundaries of the little park street 
cars spat and mewed and the stilted trains roared 
like tigers and lions prowling for a place to enter. 
And above tiie trees shone the great, round, shining 
face of an illuminated clock in the tower of an an- 
tique public building. 

Prince Michael's shoes were wrecked far beyond 


The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock 187 

the skill of the earefullest cobbler. The ragman 
would have declined any negotiations concerning his 
clothes. The two weeks' stubble on his face was 
grey and brown and red and greenish yellow — as if 
it had been made up from individual contributions 
from the chorus of a musical comedy. No man ex- 
isted who had money enough to wear so bad a hat 
as his. 

Prince Michael sat on his favourite bench and 
smiled. It was a diverting thought to him that he 
was wealthy enough to buy every one of those close- 
ranged, bulky, window-lit mansions that faced him, 
if he chose. He could have matched gold, equipages, 
jewels, art treasures, estates and acres with any 
Croesus in this proud city of Manhattan, and scarcely 
have entered upon the bulk of his holdings. He 
could have sat at table with reigning sovereigns. 
The social world, the world of art, the fellowship 
of the elect, adulation, imitation, the homage of the 
fairest, honours from the highest, praise from the 
wisest, flattery, esteem, credit, pleasure, fame — all 
the honey of life was waiting in the comb in the hive 
of the world for Prince Michael, of the Electorate 
of Valleluna, whenever he might choose to take it. 
But his choice was to ^it in rags and din^ness on a 
bench in a park. For he had tasted of the fruit of 

188 The Four Million 

the tree mi life, and, finding it bitter in his mouth, 
had stepped out of Eden for a time to seek distrac- 
tion close to the imarmonred, beating heart of the 

These thoughts strayed dreamily through the mind 
of Prince Michael, as he smiled under the stubble 
of his polychromatic beard. Lounging thus, clad as 
the poorest of mendicants in the parks, he loved to 
study hmmanity. He found in altruism more pleas- 
ure than his riches, his station and all the grosser 
sweets ef Hfe had given him. It was his chief solace 
and satisfaction to alleviate individual distress, to 
confer favours upon worthy ones who had need of 
succour, t« dazzle unfortunates by unexpected and 
bewildering gifts of truly royal magnificence, be- 
stowed, however, with wisdom and judiciousness. 

And as Prince Michael's eye rested upon the glow- 
ing faee of the great clock in the tower, his smile, 
altruistic as it was, became slightly tinged with con* 
tempt. Big thoughts were the Prince's ; and it was 
always with a shake of his head that he considered 
the subjugation of the world to the arbitrary meas- 
ures of Time. The comings and goings of peopk 
in hurry and dread, controlled by the little metal 
moving hands of a clock, always made hkn sad. 

By and by came a young man in evening dbthes 

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock 189 

and sat upon the third bench from the Prince. For 
half an hour he smoked cigars with n^rrous haste, 
and then he fell to watching the face of the illumi- 
nated clock above the trees. His perturbation was 
eyident, and the Prince noted, in sorrow, that its 
cause was connected, in some manner, with the slowly 
moving hands of the timepiece. 

His Highness arose and went to the jomig man's 

"I beg your pardon for addressing you,'' he said, 
*^but I perceive that you are disturbed in mind. If 
it may serve to mitigate the liberty I have taken 
I will add that I am Prince Michael, heir t» the 
throne of the Electorate of Valleluna. I appear in- 
cognito, of course, as you may gather from my ap- 
pearance. It is a fancy of mine to render aid to 
others whom I think worthy of it. Perhaps the mat- 
ter that seems to distress you is one that would more 
readily yield to our mutual efforts.** 

The young man looked up brightly at the Prince. 
Brightly, but the perpendicular line 6f perplexity 
between his brows was not smoothed away. He 
laughed, and even then it did not. But he accepted 
the momentary diversion. 

**Glad to meet you. Prince," he said, good hu- 
moHredly. **Yes, I'd say you were incog, all ri^t. 

190 The Four Million 

Thanks for your offer of assistance — but I don't 
see where your butting-in would help tilings any. 
It's a kind of private affair, you know — but thanks 
all the same.'' 

Prince Michael sat at the young man's side. He 
was often rebuffed but never offensively. His cour^ 
teous manner and words forbade that. 

"Clocks," said the Prince, "are shackles on the 
feet of mankind. I have observed you looking per- 
sistently at that clock. Its face is that of a tyrant, 
its numbers are false as those on a lottery ticket; 
its hands are those of a bunco steerer, who makes an 
appointment with you to your ruin. Let me entreat 
you to throw off its humiliating bonds and to cease 
to order your affairs by that insensate monitor of 
brass and steel." 

"I don't usually," said the young man. "I carry 
a watch except when I've got my radiant rags on.** 

"I know human nature as I do the trees and 
grass," said the Prince, with earnest dignity. "I 
am a master of philosophy, a graduate in art, and I 
hold the purse of a Fortunatus. There are few 
mortal misfortunes that I cannot alleviate or over- 
come. I have read your coimtenance, and found in 
it honesty and nobility as well as distress. I beg 
of you to accept my advice or aid. Do not belie 

The Caliph, Cupid and ike Clock 191 

the intelligence I see in your face by judging from 
my appearance of my ability to defeat your trou- 

The young man glanced at the clock again and 
frowned darkly. When his gaze strayed from the 
glowing horologue of time it rested intently upon 
a four-story red brick house in the row of dwellings 
opposite to where he sat. The shades were drawn, 
and the lights in many rooms shone dimly through 

"Ten minutes to nine!" exclaimed the young 
man, with an impatient gesture of despair. He 
turned his back upon the house and took a rapid 
step or two in a contrary direction. 

**Remain!" commanded Prince Michael, in so po- 
tent a voice that the disturbed one wheeled around' 
with a somewhat chagrined laugh. 

"I'll give her the ten minutes and then I'm oflF," 
he muttered, and then aloud to the Prince: "I'll 
join you in confounding all clocks, my friend, and 
throw in women, too." 

"Sit down," said the Prince calmly. "I do not 
accept your addition. Women are the natural ene- 
mies of clocks, and, therefore, the allies of those who 
would seek liberation from these monsters that meas- 
ure our follies and limit our pleasures. If you will 

192 The Four Million 

so far confide in me I would ask you to relate to me 
your story.** 

The young man threw himself upon the bench with 
a reckless laugh. 

^^Your Royal Highness, I will,*' he said, in tones 
of mock deference. "Do you see yonder house — - 
the one with three upper windows liglited? Well, at 
6 o'clock I stood in that house with tlie young lady 
I am — that is, I was — engaged to. I had been 
doing wrong, my dear Prince — I had been a naughty 
boy, and she had heard of it. I wanted to be for- 
given, of course — we are always wanting women to 
forgive us, aren't we, Prince?" 

" *I want time to think it over,' said she. TTiere 
is one thing certain; I will either fully forgive you, 
or I will never see your face again. There will be 
no half-way business. At half-past eight,' she said, 
^at exactly half-past eight you may be watching the 
middle upper window of the top floor. If I decide 
to forgive I will hang out of that window a white 
silk scarf. You will know by that that all is as was 
before, and you may come to me. If you see no 
scarf you may consider that everything between us 
is ended forever.' That," concluded the young man 
bitterly, "is why I have been watching tliat clock. 
The time for the signal to appear has passed twenty- 

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock 193 

three minutes ago. Do jou wonder that I am a little 
disturbed, my Prince of Rags and Whiskers?** 

**Let me repeat to you,'* said Prince Michael, in 
his even, well-modulated tones, *Hhat women are the 
natural enemies of clocks. Clocks are an evil, women 
a blessing. The signal may yet appear."* 

"Never, on your principality!" exclaimed the 
young man, hopelessly. "You don't know Marian 
— of course. She's always on time, to the mmute. 
That was tlie first thing about her that attracted me. 
I've got the mitten instead of the scarf. I ought to 
have known at 8.31 that my goose was cooked. I'll 
go West on the 11.4f5 to-night with Jack Milburn. 
The jig's up. I'll try Jack's ranch awhile and top 
off with the Klondike and whiskey. Good-night — 
er — er — Prince." 

Prince Michael smiled his enigmatic, gentle, com- 
prehending smile and caught the coat sleeve of the 
other. The brilliant light in the Prince's eyes was 
softening to a dreamier, cloudy translucence. 

Wait," he said solemnly, "till the clock strikes. 
I have wealth and power and knowledge above 
most men, but when the clock strikes I am afraid. 
Stay by me until then. This woman shall be yours. 
You ha^T the word of the hereditary Prince of Valle- 
luna. On the day of your marriage I will give you 

194 The Four Million 

$100,000 and a palace on the Hudson. But there 
must be no clocks in that palace — they measure our 
follies and limit our pleasures. Do you agree to 

Of course,'* said the young man, cheerfully, 
they're a nuisance, anyway — always ticking and 
striking and getting you late for dinner." 

He glanced again at the clock in the tower. The 
hands stood at three minutes to nine. 

"I think," said Prince Michael, "that I will sleep 
a little. The day has been fatiguing." 

He stretched himself upon a bench with the man- 
ner of one who had slept thus before. 

"You will find me in this park on any evening 
when the weather is suitable," said the Prince, sleep- 
ily. "Come to me when your marriage day is set 
and I will give you a cheque for the money.'* 

"Thanks, Your Highness," said the young man, 
seriously. "It doesn't look as if I would need that 
palace on the Hudson, but I appreciate your offer, 
just the same." 

Prince Michael sank into deep slumber. His bat- 
tered hat rolled from the bench to the ground. The 
young man lifted it, placed it oyer the frowsy face 
and moved one of the grotesquely relaxed limbs into 

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock 195 

a more comfortable position. **Poor devil !" he said, 
as he drew the tattered clothes closer about the 
Prince's breast. 

Sonorous and startling came the stroke of 9 from 
the clock tower. The young man sighed again, 
turned his face for one last look at the house of his 
relinquished hopes — and cried aloud profane words 
of holy rapture. 

From the middle upper window blossomed in the 
dusk a waving, snowy, fluttering, wonderful, divine 
emblem of forgiveness and promised joy. 

By came a citizen, rotund, comfortable, home- 
hurrying, unknowing of the delights of waving silken 
scarfs on the borders of dimly-lit parks. 

"Will you oblige me with the time, sir?" asked 
the young man ; and the citizen, shrewdly conjectur- 
ing his watch to be safe, dragged it out and an- 
nounced : 

"Twenty-nine and a half minutes past eight, sir." 

And then, from habit, he glanced at the clock in 
the tower, and made further oration. 

"By George ! that clock's half an hour fast ! First 
time in ten years I've known it to be off. Tliis watch 
of mine never varies a — " 

But the citizen was talking to vacancy. He turned 

196 The Four MUMon 

and saw his hearer, a fast receding black »hadow, 
fijing in the direction of a house with three lighted 
upper windows. 

And in the morning came along two policemen on 
their way to tlie beats they owned. The park was 
deserted save for one dilapidated figure that 
sprawled, asleep, on a bench. They stopped and 
gazed upon it. 

"It's Dopy Mike,'* said one. "He hits the pipe 
every night. Park bum for twenty years. On his 
last legs, I guess.** 

The other policeman stooped and looked at »oroe- 
thing crumpled and crisp in the hand of the sleeper. 

"GeeP* be remarked. "He's doped out a fifty- 
dollar bill, anjnvay. Wish I knew the brand of hop 
that he smokes." 

And then "Rap, rap, rap !" went the dub of real- 
ism against tlie shoe soles of Prince liiohaaly of tbe 
Ulectorate of Valleluna. 


The Rubberneck Auto was about ready to start. 
The merrj top-riders had been assigned ta their 
seats by the gentlemanly conductor. The sidewalk 
was blockaded with sightseers who had gathered to 
stare at sightseers, justifying the natural luw that 
every creature on earth is preyed upon by some other 

The megaphone man raised his instrument of tor- 
ture; the inside of the great automobile began to 
thump and throb like the heart of a cofFec drinker. 
The top-riders nervously clung to the seats; the old 
lady from Valparaiso, Indiana, shrieked to be put 
ashore. But, before a wheel turns, listen to a brief 
preamble through the cardiaphone, which sliall point 
out to you an object of interest on life's sightseeing 

Swift and comprehensive is the recognition of 

white man for white man in African wilds; instant 

and sure is the spiritual greeting between mother 

and babe; unhesitatingly do master and dog com- 

SBune a<;ross the slight gulf between animal and man ; 


198 The Four Million 

imineasurably quick and sapient are the brief mes- 
sages between one and one's beloved. But all these 
instances set forth only slow and groping interchange 
of sympathy and thought beside one other instance 
which the Rubberneck coach shall disclose. You 
shall learn (if you have not learned already) what 
two beings of all earth's living inhabitants most 
quickly look into each other's hearts and souls when 
they meet face to face. 

The gong whirred, and the Glaring-at-Gotham car 
moved majestically upon its instructive tour. 

On the highest, rear seat was James Williams, of 
Cloverdale, Missouri, and his Bride. 

Capitalise it, friend typo — that last word — • 
word of words in the epiphany of life and love. 
The scent of the flowers, the booty of the bee, the 
primal drip of spring waters, the overture of the lark, 
the twist of lemon peel on the cocktail of creation 
' — such is the bride. Holy is the wife ; revered the 
mother; galliptious is the summer girl — but the 
bride is the certified check among the wedding pres- 
ents that the gods send in when man is married to 

The car glided up the Golden Way. On the bridge 
of the great cruiser the captain stood, trumpeting 
the sights of the big city to his passengers. Wide^ 

Sisters of the Golden Circle 199 

mouthed and open-eared, they heard the sights of 
the metropolis tliundered forth to their eyes. Con- 
fused, delirious with excitement and provincial long- 
ings, they tried to make ocular responses to the 
mcgaphonic ritual. In the solemn spires of spread- 
ing cathedrals they saw the home of the Vanderbilts ; 
in the busy bulk of the Grand Central depot they 
viewed, wondcringly, the frugal cot of Russell Sage. 
Bidden to observe the highlands of the Hudson, they 
gaped, unsuspecting, at the upturned mountains of 
a new-laid sewer. To many the elevated railroad 
was the Rialto, on the stations of which uniformed 
men sat and made chop suey of your tickets. And 
to this day in the outlying districts many have it that 
Chuck Connors, with his hand on his heart, leads 
reform ; and that but for the noble municipal eflforts 
of one Parkhurst, a district attorney, the notorious 
*'Bishop" Potter gang would have destroj'cd law and 
order from the Bowery to the Harlem River. 

But I beg you to observe Mrs. James Williams — 
Hattie Chalmers that was — once the belle of Clover- 
dale. Pale-blue is the bride's, if she will; and this 
colour she had honoured. Willingly had the moss 
rosebud loaned to her cheeks of its pink — and as for 
the violet ! — her eyes will do very well as they are, 
thank you. A useless strip of white chaf — oh, no^ 

200 The Four Million 

he was guiding the auto car — of white chiffon — or 
perhaps it was grenadine or tulle — was tied beneath 
her chin, pretending to hold her bonnet in place. 
But you know as well as I do tliat the hatpins did 
the work. 

And on Mrs. James Williams's face was recorded a 
little library of the world's best tliougiits in three 
volumes. Volume No. 1 contained tlie belief that 
James Williams was about the right sort of thing. 
Volume No. S was an essay on the world, declaring 
it to be a very excellent place. Volume No. 8 dis- 
closed the belief that in occupying the highest seat 
in a Rubberneck auto they were travelling the pace 
that passes all understanding. 

James Williamc, you would have guessed, was 
about twenty-four. It will gratify you to know that 
your estimate was so accurate. He was exactly 
twenty-three years, eleven months and twenty-nine 
days old. He was well built, active, strong- jawed, 
good-natured and rising. He was on his wedding 

Dear kind fairy, please cut out those orders for 
money and 40 H. P. touring cars and fame and a 
new growth of hair and the presidency of the boat 
club. Instead of any of them turn backward — oh, 
turn backward and give us just a teeny-ween j bit 

Sisters of the Golden Circle 201 

of our wedding trip over again. Just an hour, dear 
fairy, so we can remember how the grass and pop- 
lar trees looked, and the bow of those bonnet strings 
tied beneath her chin — even if it was the hatpins 
that did the work. Can't do it? Very well; hurry 
up with that touring car and the oil stock, then. 

Just in front of Mrs. James Williams sat a girl in 
a loose tan jacket and a straw hat adorned with 
grapes and roses. Only in dreams and milliners' 
shops do we, alas! gather grapes and roses at one 
swipe This girl gazed with large Wue eyes, credu- 
lous, when the megaj^onc man roared his doctrine 
that millionaires were things about which we should 
be concerned. Between blast she resorted to Epicte- 
tian philosophy in the form of pepsin chewing gum. 

At this girl's right hand sat a young man about 
twenty-four. He was well-built, active, strong- 
jawed and good-natured. But if his description 
seems to follow that of James Williams, divest it of 
anything Cloverdalian. This man belonged to hard 
streets and sharp corners. He looked keenly about 
him, seeming to begrudge the asphalt under the feet 
of those upon whom he looked down from his perch. 

While the megaphone barks at a famous hostelry, 
let me whisper you through the low-tuned cardia- 
phone to sit tight ; for now things are about to hap- 

202 The Four Million 

pen, and the great city will close over them again as 
over a scrap of ticker tape floating down from the 
den of a Broad street bear. 

The girl in the tan jacket twisted around to view 
the pilgrims on the last seat. The other passengers 
she had absorbed ; the seat behind her was her Blue- 
beard's chamber. 

Her eyes met those of Mrs. James Williams. Be- 
tween two ticks of a watch they exchanged their 
life's experiences, histories, hopes and fancies. And 
all, mind you, with the eye, before two men could 
have decided whether to draw steel or borrow a match. 

The bride leaned forward low. She and the girl 
spoke rapidly together, their tongues moving quickly 
like those of two serpents — a comparison that is not 
meant to go further. Two smiles and a dozen nods 
closed the conference. 

And now in the broad, quiet avenue in front of 
the Rubberneck car a man in dark clothes stood with 
uplifted hand. From the sidewalk another hurried 
to join him. 

The girl in the fruitful hat quickly seized her com- 
panion by the arm and whispered in his ear. That 
young man exhibited proof of ability to act promptly. 
Crouching low, he slid over the edge of the car, hung 
lightly for an instant, and then disappeared. Half 

Sisters of the Golden Circle 208 

a dozen of the top-riders observed his feat, wonder- 
ingly, but made no comment, deeming it prudent not 
to express surprise at what might be the conven- 
tional manner of alighting in this bewildering city. 
The truant passenger dodged a hansom and then 
floated past, like a leaf on a stream between a furni- 
ture van and a florist's delivery wagon. 

The girl in the tan jacket turned again, and looked 
in the eyes of Mrs. James Williams. Tiien she faced 
about and sat still while the Rubberneck auto stopped 
at the flash of the badge under the coat of the plain- 
clothes man. 

"What's eatin' you?" demanded the megaphonist, 
abandoning his professional discourse for pure Eng- 

"Keep her at anchor for a minute," ordered the 
oflS(3er. "There's a man on board we want — a 
Philadelphia burglar called *Pinky' McGuire. 
There he is on the back seat. Look out for the side, 

Donovan went to the hind wheel and looked up at 
James Williams. 

"Come down, old sport," he said, pleasantly. 
**We've got you. Back to Sleepytown for yours. It 
ain't a bad idea, hidin' on a Rubberneck, though 
I'll remember that." 

204 The Four MUlion 

Softly through the megaphone came the advice of 
the conductor: 

^^Better step off, sir, and explain. The car must 
proceed on its tour." 

James Williams belonged among the level heads. 
Witli necessary slowness he picked his way through 
the passengers down to the steps at the front of the 
car. His wife followed, but she first turned her 
eyes and saw the escaped tourist glide from behind 
the furniture van and slip behind a tree on the edge 
of i!ie little park, not fifty foet away. 

De.-oended to the ground, James Williams faced 
Ills captors with a smile. He was thinking what a 
good story he would have to tell in Cloverdale about 
having been mistaken for a burglar. The Rubber- 
neck coach lingered, out of respect for its patrons. 
What could be a more interesting sight than 

"My name is James Williams, of Cloverdale, Mis- 
souri," he said kindly, so that they would not be 
too greatly mortified. *'I have letters here that will 
show — ^ 

"YouHl come with us, please," announced the 
plainclothes man. " *Pinky' McGuire's description 
fits you like flannel washed in hot suds. A detective 
saw you on the Rubberneck up at Central Park and 

Sisters of the Golden Circle 206 

'phoned down to take you in. Do your explainuig at 
the station-house." *■ 

James Williams's wife — his bride of two weeks — • 
looked him in tlie face with a strange, soft radiance 
in her eyes and a flush on her cheeks, looked him in 
the face and said: 

**Go with 'era quietly, *Pinky,' and maybe it'll be 
in your favour." 

And then as the Glaring-at-Gotham car rolled 
away she turned and threw a kiss — his wife threw 
a kiss — at some one high up on the seats of the 

**Your girl gives you good advice, McGuire," said 
Donovan. **Come on, now." 

And then madness descended upon and occupied 
James Williams. He pushed his hat far upon the 
back of his head. 

"My wife seems to think I am a burglar," he 
said, recklessly. "I never heard of her being crazy ; 
therefore I must be. And if I'm crazy, tliey can't 
do anything to me for killing you two fools in my 

Whereupon he resisted arrest so cheerfully and 
industriously that cops had to be whistled for, and 
afterwards the reserves, to disperse a few thousand 
delighted spectators. 

206 The Four Million 

At the station-house the desk sergeant asked for 
his name. 

"McDoodle, the Pink, or Pinky the Brute, I for- 
get wliich," was James Williams's answer. **But you 
can bet I'm a burglar; don't leave that out. And 
you might add that it took five of 'em to pluck 
the Pink. I'd especially like to have that in the 

In an hour came Mrs. James Williams, with Uncle 
Thomas, of Madison Avenue, in a respect-compelling 

motor car and proofs of the hero's innocence — for 


all the world like the third act of a drama backed by 
an automobile mfg. co. 

After the police had sternly reprimanded James 
Williams for imitating a copyrighted burglar and 
given him as honourable a discharge as the depart- 
ment was capable of, Mrs. Williams rearrested him 
and swept him into an angle of the station-house. 
James Williams regarded her with one eye. He al- 
ways said that Donovan closed the other while some- 
body was holding his good right hand. Never before 
had he given her a word of reproach or of reproof. 

"If you can explain," he began rather stiffly, **why 
you — " 

"Dear," she interrupted, *^isten. It was an 
hour's pain and trial to you. I did it for her — I 

Sisters of the Golden Circle 207 

mean the girl who spoke to me on the coach. I was so 
happy, Jim — so happy with you that I didn't dare 
to refuse that happiness to another. Jim, they were 
married only this morning — those two ; and I wanted 
him to get away. While they were struggling with 
you I saw him slip from behind his tree and hurry 
across the park. That's all of it, dear — I had to 
do it." 

Thus does one sister of the plain gold band know 
another who stands in the enchanted light that shines 
but once and briefly for each one. By rice and satin 
bows does mere man become aware of weddings. But 
bride knoweth bride at the glance of an eye. And 
between them swiftly passes comfort and meaning in 
a language that man and widows wot not of. 


Pitcher, confidential clerk in the ofice of Harvey 
Maxwell, broker, allowed a look of mild interest and 
surprise to visit his usually exprcssioolefls eounte- 
nance when his employer briskly entered at half past 
nine in company with his young lady stenographer. 
With a snappy "Good-morning, Pitcher,'' Maxwell 
dashed at his desk as though he were intending tc 
leap over it, and then plunged into the great heap of 
letters and telegrams waiting there for him. 

The young lady had been Maxwell's stenographer 
for a year. She was beautiful in a way that was 
decidedly unstenographic. She forewent the pomp 
of the alluring pompadour. She wore no chains, 
bracelets or lockets. She had not the air of being 
about to accept an invitation to luncheon. Her dress 
was grey and plain, but it fitted her figure with fidel- 
ity and discretion. In her neat black turban hat 
was the gold-green wing of a macaw. On this morn- 
ing she was softly and shyly radiant. Her eyes were 
dreamily bright, her cheeks genuine peachblow, her 

expression a happy one, tinged with reminiscence. 


The Romance of a Busy Broker^ 209 

Pitcher, still mildly curious, noticed a difference in 
her ways this morning. Instead of going straight 
into the adjoining room, where her desk was, she 
lingered, slightly irresolute, in the outer office. Once 
she moved over by Maxwell's desk, near enough for 
him to be aware of her presence. 

The machine sitting at that desk was no longer a 
man ; it was a busy New York broker, moved by buzz- 
ing wheels and uncoiling springs. 

"Well — what is it? Anything?" asked Maxwell 
sharply. His opened mail lay like a bank of stage 
snow on his crowded desk. His keen grey eye, im- 
personal and brusque, flashed upon her half impa- 

"Nothing," answered the stenographer, moving 
away with a little smile. 

"Mr. Pitcher," she said to the confidential clerk, 
^*did Mr. Maxwell say anything yesterday about en- 
gaging another stenographer?" 

"He did," answered Pitcher. "He told me to get 
another one. I notified the agency yesterday after- 
noon to send over a few samples this morning. It's 
9.45 o'clock, and not a single picture hat or piece of 
pineapple chewing gum has showed up yet." 

"I will do the work as usual, then," said the young 
lady, "until some one comes to fill the place." And 

210 The Four Million 

she went to her desk at once and hung the black 
turban hat with the gold-green macaw wing in its 
accustomed place. 

He who has been denied the spectacle of a busy 
Manhattan broker during a rush of business is handi- 
capped for the profession of anthropology. The 
poet sings of the "crowded hour of glorious life." 
The broker's hour is not only crowded, but the min- 
utes and seconds are hanging to all the straps and 
packing both front and rear platforms. 

And this day was Harvey Maxwell's busy day. 
The ticker began to reel out jerkily its fitful coils of 
tape, the desk telephone had a chronic attack of 
buzzing. Men began to throng into the office and 
call at him over the railing, jovially, sharply, 
viciously, excitedly. Messenger boys ran in and out 
with messages and telegrams. The clerks in the of- 
fice jumped about like sailors during a storm. Even 
Pitcher's face relaxed into something resembling ani- 

On the Exchange there were hurricanes and land- 
slides and snowstorms and glaciers and volcanoes, 
and those elemental disturbances were reproduced in 
miniature in the broker's offices. Maxwell shoved his 
chair against the wall and transacted business after 
the manner of a toe dancer. He jumped from ticker 

The Romance of a Busy Broker 211 

to 'phone, from desk to door with the trained agility 
of a harlequin. 

In the midst of this growing and important stress 
the broker became suddenly aware of a high-rolled 
fringe of golden hair under a nodding canopy of vel- 
vet and ostrich tips, an imitation sealskin sacque and 
a string of beads as large as hickory nuts, ending 
near the floor with a silver heart. There was a self- 
possessed young lady connected with these acces- 
sories ; and Pitcher was there to construe her. 

"Lady from the Stenographer's Agency to see 
about the position," said Pitcher. 

Maxwell turned half around, with his hands full of 
papers and ticker tape. 

"What position?" he asked, with a frown. 

"Position of stenographer," said Pitcher. "You 
told me yesterday to call them up and have one sent 
over this morning." 

"You are losing your mind. Pitcher," said Max- 
well. "Why should I have given you any such in- 
structions? Miss Leslie has given perfect satisfac- 
tion during the year she has been here. The place 
is hers as long as she chooses to retain it. There's 
no place open here, madam. Countermand that or- 
der with the agency, Pitcher, and don't bring any 
more of 'em in here." 

212 The Four Million 

The silver heart left the office, swinging and bang* 
ing itself independently against the office furniture 
as it indignantly departed. Pitcher seized a moment 
to remark to the bookkeeper that the "old man** 
seemed to get more absent-minded and forgetful 
every day of the world. 

The rush and pace of business grew fiercer and 
faster. On the floor they were pounding half a dozen 
stocks in which Maxwell's customers were heavy in- 
vestors. Orders to buy and sell were coming and 
going as swift as the flight of swallows. Some of 
his own holdings were imperilled, and the man was 
working like some high-geared, delicate, strong ma- 
chine — strung to full tension, going at full speed, 
accurate, never hesitating, with the proper word and 
decision and act ready and prompt as clockwork. 
Stocks and bonds, loans and mortgages, margins and 
securities — here was a world of finance, and there 
was no room in it for the human world or the world 
of nature. 

When the luncheon hour drew near there came a 
slight lull in the uproar. 

Maxwell stood by his desk with his hands full of 
telegrams and memoranda, with a fountain pen over 
his right ear and his hair hanging in disorderly 
strings over his forehead. His window was open, loH 

The Bomcmce of a Busy Broker 213 

the beloved janitress Spring had turned on a little 
warmth through the waking registers of the earth. 

And through the window came a wandering — per- 
haps a lost — odour — a delicate, sweet odour of 
lilac that fixed the broker for a moment immovable. 
For this odour belonged to Miss Leslie; it was her 
own, and hers only. 

The odour brought her vividly, almost tangibly 
before him. The world of finance dwindled suddenly 
to a speck. And she was in the next room — twenty 
steps away. 

"By George, I'll do it now," said Maxwell, half 
aloud. "I'll ask her now. I wonder I didn't do it 
long ago." 

Pie dashed into the inner office with the haste of a 
short trying to cover. He charged upon the desk of 
the stenographer. 

She looked up at him with a smile. A soft pink 
crept over her cheek, and her eyes were kind and 
frank. Maxwell leaned one elbow on her desk. He 
still clutched fluttering papers with both hands and 
the pen was above his ear. 

"Miss Leslie," he began hurriedly, "I have but a 
moment to spare. I want to say something in that 
moment. Will you be my wife? I haven't had time 
to make love to you in the ordinary way, but I really 

214 The Four Million 

do love you. Talk quick, please — those fellows arc 
clubbing the stuffing out of Union Pacific." 

"Oh, what are you talking about?" exclaimed the 
young lady. She rose to her feet and gazed upon 
him, round-eyed. 

"Don't you understand?" said Maxwell, restively. 
**I want you to marry me. I love you. Miss Leslie. 
I wanted to tell you, and I snatched a minute when 
things had slackened up a bit. They're calling me 
for the 'phone now. Tell 'em to wait a minute. 
Pitcher. Won't you. Miss Leslie?" 

The stenographer acted very queerly. At first she 
seemed overcome with amazement; then tears flowed 
from her wondering eyes; and then she smiled sun- 
nily through them, and one of her arms slid tenderly 
about the broker's neck. 

"I know now," she said, softly. "It's this old 
business that has driven everything else out of your 
head for the time. I was frightened at first. Don't 
you remember, Harvey ? We were married last even- 
ing at 8 o'clock in the Little Church around the 


The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue 
impressively. The impressiveness was habitual and 
not for show, for spectators were few. The time 
was barely 10 o'clock at night, but chilly gusts of 
wind with a taste of rain in them had well nigh de- 
peopled the streets. 

Trying doors as he went, twirling his club with 
many intricate and artful movements, turning now 
and then to cast his watchful eye adown the pacific 
thoroughfare, the officer, with his stalwart form and 
slight swagger, made a fine picture of a guardian of 
the peace. The vicinity was one that kept early 
hours. Now and then you might see the lights of a 
cigar store or of an all-night lunch counter ; but the 
majority of the doors belonged to business places 
that had long since been closed. 

When about midway of a certain block the police- 
man suddenly slowed his walk. In the doorway of 
a darkened hardware store a man leaned, with an 
unlighted cigar in his mouth. As the policeman 

walked up to him the man spoke up quickly. 


216 The Four Million 

"It's all right, officer," he said, reassuringly. 
"I'm just waiting for a friend. It's an appointment 
made twenty years ago. Sounds a little funny to 
you, doesn't it? Well, I'll explain if you'd like to 
make certain it's all straight. About that long ago 
there used to be a restaurant where this store stands 
* — *Big Joe' Brady's restaurant." 

"Until five years ago," said the policeman. "It 
was torn down then." 

The man in the doorway struck a match and lit his 
cigar. The light showed a pale, square-jawed face 
with keen eyes, and a little white scar near his right 
eyebrow. His scarfpin was a large diamond, oddly 

"Twenty years ago to-night," said the man, "I 
dined here at 'Big Joe' Brady's with Jimmy Wells, 
my best chum, and the finest chap in the world. He 
and I were raised here in New York, just like two 
brothers, together. I was eighteen and Jimmy was 
twenty. The next morning I was to start for the 
West to make my fortune. You couldn't have 
dragged Jimmy out of New York; he thought it was 
the only place on earth. Well, we agreed that night 
that we would meet here again exactly twenty years 
from that date and time, no matter what our con- 
ditions might be or from what distance we might 

After Twenty Years 217 

have to come. We figured that in twenty years eacii 
of us ought to have our destiny worked out and our 
fortunes made, whatever they were going to be." 

**It sounds pretty interesting," said tlie polie«mau. 
^Bather a long time between meets, tliougli, it seems 
to me. Haven't you heard from your friend since 
you left?'' 

**Well, yes, for a time we corresponded," said the 
other. "But after a year or two we lost track of 
each other. You see, the West is a pretty big propo- 
sition, and I kept hustling around over it pretty 
lively. But I know Jimmy will meet me here if 
he's alive, for he always was the truest, stanchest old 
chap in the world. He'll never forget. I came a 
thousand miles to stand in this door to-night, and it's 
worth it if my old partner turns up." 

The waiting man pulled out a handsome watch, the 
lids of it set with small diamonds. 

*'Three minutes to ten," he announced. *'It was 
exactly ten o'clock when we parted here at the res- 
taurant door." 

"Did pretty well out West, didn't you.'*" asked 
the policeman. 

"You bet! I hope Jinmiy has done half as well. 
He was a kind of plodder, though, good fellow as he 
was. I've had to compete with some of the sharpest 

218 The Four Million 

wits going to get my pile. A man gets in a groove 
in New York. It takes the West to put a razor-edge 
on him." 

The policeman twirled his club and took a step or 

"I'll be on my way. Hope your friend comes 
around all right. Going to call time on him 

"I should say not!" said the other. "I'll give 
him half an hour at least. If Jimmy is alive on earth 
he'll be licre by that time. So long, officer." 

"Good-night, sir," said the policeman, passing on 
along his beat, trying doors as he went. 

Hicrc was now a fine, cold drizzle falling, and the 
wind had risen from its uncertain puffs into a steady 
blow. Tlie few foot passengers astir in that quarter 
hurried dismally and silently along with coat collars 
turned higli and pocketed hands. And in the door of 
the hardware store the man who had come a thou- 
sand miles to fill an appointment, uncertain abnost 
to absurdity, with the friend of his youth, smoked 
his cigar and waited. 

About twenty minutes he waited, and then a tall 
man in a long overcoat, with collar turned up to his 
ears, hurried across from the opposite side of the 
8.trect. He went directly to the waiting man. 

After Twenty Years 219 

"Is that you, Bob?'* he asked, doubtfully. 

**Is that you, Jmimy Wells?" cried the man in the 

"Bless my heart!'* exclaimed the new arrival, 
grasping both the other's hands with liis own. "It's 
Bob, sure as fate. I was certain I'd find 3^ou here 
if you were still in existence. Well, well, well ! — 
twenty years is a long time. The old restaurant's 
gone. Bob ; I wish it had lasted, so we could have had 
anotlier dinner there. How has the West treated 
you, old man?" 

"Bully; it has given me everything I asked it for. 
You've changed lots, Jimmy. I never thought you 
vere so tall by two or three inches." 

"Oh, I grew a bit after I was twenty." 

"Doing well in New York, Jimmy?" 

"Moderately. I have a position in one of the city 
departments. Come on, Bob; we'll go around to a 
place I know of, and have a good long talk about 
old times." 

The two men started up the street, arm in arm. 
The man from the West, his egotism enlarged by suc- 
cess, was beginning to outline the history of his ca- 
reer. The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened 
with interest. 

At the corner stood a drug store, brilliant with 

220 The Four Million 

electric lights. When they came into this glare each 
of them turned simultaneously to gaze upon the oth- 
er's face. 

The man from the West stopped suddenly and re- 
leased his arm. 

"You're not Jimmy Wells," he snapped. 
^'Twenty years is a long time, but not long enough to 
change a man's nose from a Roman to a pug." 

"It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one," 
said the tall man. "You've been under arrest for ten 
minutes, 'Silky' Bob. Chicago thinks you may have 
dropped over our way and wires us she wants to have 
a chat with you. Going quietly, are you? That's 
sensible. Now, before we go to the station here's 
a note I was asked to hand you. You may read it 
here at the window. It's from Patrolman Wells." 

The man from the West unfolded the little piece 
of paper handed him. His hand was steady when he 
began to read, but it trembled a little by the time he 
had finished. The note was rather short. 

^'Bob: I was at the appointed place an time. 
When you struck the match to light your cigar I $am 
it was the face of the man wanted in Chicago. Some- 
how I coiddnt do it myself^ so I went around and got 
a plain clothes man to do the job. JIMMYJ 



Mr. towers chandler was pressing his 
evening suit in his hall bedroom. One iron was 
heating on a small gas stove; the other was being 
pushed vigorously back and forth to make the 
desirable crease that would be seen later on extend- 
ing in straight lines from Mr. Chandler's patent 
leather shoes to the edge of his low-cut vest. So 
much of the hero's toilet may be intrusted to our 
confidence. The renutinder may be guessed by those 
whom genteel poverty has driven to ignoble expedi- 
ent. Our next view of him shall be as he descends 
the steps of his lodging-house immaculately and cor- 
rectly clotlied ; calm, assured, handsome — in appear- 
ance the typical New York young clubman setting 
out, slightly bored, to inaugurate the pleasurM of 
the evening. 

Chandler's honorarium was $18 per week. He was 
employed in the office of an architect. He was 
twenty-two years old; he considered architecture to 
be truly an art ; and he honestly believed — though he 

would not have dared to admit it in New York --* tlMft 


222 The Four Million 

the Flatiron Building was inferior in design to the 
great cathedral in Milan. 

Out of each week's earnings Chandler set aside 
$1. At the end of each ten weeks with, the extra 
capital thus accumulated, he purchased one gentle- 
man's evening from the bargain counter of stingy 
old Father Time. He arrayed himself in the regalia 
of millionaires and presidents ; he took himself to the 
quarter where life is brightest and showiest, and 
there dined with taste and luxury. With ten dollars 
a man may, for a few hours, play the wealthy idler 
to perfection. The sum is ample for a well-con- 
sidered meal, a bottle bearing a respectable label, 
commensurate tips, a smoke, cab fare and the or- 
dinary etceteras. 

This one delectable evening culled from each dull 
seventy was to Chandler a source of renascent bliss- 
To the society bud comes but one debut; it stands 
alone sweet in her memory when her hair has 
wliitened ; but to Chandler each ten weeks brought a 
joy as keen, as thrilling, as new as the first had 
been. To sit among hon vvcantg under palms in the 
swirl of concealed music, to look upon the habituii 
of such a paradise and to be looked upon by them — 
what is a girl's first dance and short-sleeved tulle 
compared with this? 

Lost on Dress Parade 223 

Up Broadway Chandler moved with the vespertine 
dress parade. For this evening he was an exhibit 
as well as a gazer. For the next sixty-nine evenings 
he would be dining in cheviot and worsted at dubious 
table dliotes, at whirlwind lunch counters, on sand- 
wiches and beer in his hall bedroom. He was willing 
to do that, for he was a true son of the great city of 
razzle-dazzle, and to him one evening in the limelight 
made up for many dark ones. 

Chandler protracted his walk until the Forties be- 
gan to intersect the great and glittering primrose 
way, for the evening was yet young, and when one 
is of the beau monde only one day in seventy, one 
loves to protract the pleasure. Eyes bright, sinister, 
curious, admiring, provocative, alluring were bent 
upon him, for his garb and air proclaimed him a 
devotee to the hour of solace and pleasure. 

At a certain corner he came to a standstill, pro- 
posing to himself the question of turning back toward 
the showy and fashionable restaurant in which he 
usually dined on the evenings of his especial luxury. 
Just then a girl scuddled lightly around the corner, 
slipped on a patch of icy snow and fell plump upon 
the sidewalk. 

Chandler assisted her to her feet with instant and 
solicitous courtesy. The girl hobbled to the wall of 

224 The Four Million 

the building, leaned against it, and thanked him de- 

"I think my ankle is strained," she said. '^It 
twisted when I fell." 

**Does it pain you much?" inquired Chandler, 

"Only when I rest my weight upon it. I think I 
will be able to walk in a minute or two." 

"If I can be of any further service," suggested 
the young man, "I will call a cab, or — " 

*T?hank you," said the girl, softly but heartily. 
**I am sure you need not trouble yourself any fur- 
ther. It was so awkward of me. And my shoe heels 
are horridly common-sense; I ean't blame them at 

Chandler looked at the girl and found her swiftly 
drawing his interest. She was pretty in a refined 
way; and her eye was both merry and kind. She 
was inexpensively clothed in a plain black dress that 
suggested a sort of uniform such as shop girls wear. 
Her glossy dark-brown hair showed its coils beneath 
a cheap hat of black straw whose only ornament was 
a velvet ribbon and bow. She could have posed as a 
model for the self-respecting working girl of the best 

A sudden idea came into the head of the young 
architect. He would ask this girl to dine with him. 

Lost on Dress Parade 225 

Here was the element that his splendid but solitary 
periodic feats had lacked. His brief season of ele- 
gant luxury would be doubly enjoyable if he could 
add to it a lady's society. This girl was a lady, he 
was sure — her manner and speech settled that. 
And in spite of her extremely plain attire he felt that 
he would be pleased to sit at table with her. 

These thoughts passed swiftly through his mind, 
and he decided to ask her. It was a breach of eti- 
quette, of course, but oftentimes wage-earning girls 
waived formalities in matters of this kind. They 
were generally shrewd judges of men; and thought 
better of their own judgment than they did of use- 
less conventions. His ten dollars, discreetly ex- 
pended, would enable the two to dine very well in- 
deed. The dinner would no doubt be a wonderful 
experience thrown into the dull routine of the girl's 
life; and her lively appreciation of it would add to 
his own triumph and pleasure. 

I think," he said to her, with frank gravity, 
that your foot needs a longer rest than you sup- 
I)ose. Now, I am going to suggest a way in which 
you can give it that and at the same time do me a 
favour. I was on my way to dine all by my lonely 
self when you came tumbling around the comer. 
You come with me and we'll have a cozy dinner and 

226 The Four Million 

a pleasant talk together, and by that time your 
game ankle will carry you home very nicely, I arn 

The girl looked quickly up into Chandler's clear, 
pleasant countenance. Her eyes twinkled once very 
brightly, and then she smiled ingenuously. 

"But we don't know each other — it wouldn't be 
right, would it?" she said, doubtfully. 

"There is nothing wrong about it," said the young 
man, candidly. "I'll introduce myself — permit me 
— * Mr. Towers Chandler. After our dinner, which I 
will try to make as pleasant as possible, I will bid you 
good-evening, or attend you safely to your door, 
whichever you prefer." 

"But, dear me!" said the girl, with a glance at 
Chandler's faultless attire. "In this old dress and 
hat !" 

"Never mind that,^ said 'Chandler, cheerfully. 
"I'm sure you look more charming in them than any 
one we shall see in the most elaborate dinner 

"My ankle does hurt yet," admitted the girl, at- 
tempting a limping step. "I think I will accept your 
invitation, Mr. Chandler. You may call me — Miss 

"Come then. Miss Marian," said the young archi- 

Lost on Dress Parade 227 

tect, gaily, but with perfect courtesy; "you will 
not have far to walk. There is a very respectable 
and good restaurant in the next block. You will 
have to lean on my arm — so — and walk slowly. It 
is lonely dining all by one's self. I'm just a little bit 
glad that you slipped on the ice." 

When the two were established at a well-appointed 
table, with a promising waiter hovering in attend- 
ance, Chandler began to experience the real joy that 
his regular outing always brought to him. 

The restaurant was not so showy or pretentious 
as the one further down Broadway, which he always 
preferred, but it was nearly so. The tables were well 
filled with prosperous-looking diners, there was a 
good orchestra, playing softly enough to make con- 
versation a possible pleasure, and the cuisine and 
service were beyond criticism. His companion, even 
in her cheap hat and dress, held herself with an air 
that added distinction to the natural beauty of her 
face and figure. And it is certain that she looked at 
Chandler, with his animated but self-possessed man- 
ner and his kindling and frank blue eyes, with some- 
thing not far from admiration in her own charming 

Then it was that the Madness of Manhattan, th'j 
Frenzy of Fuss and Feathers, the Bacillus of Brag, 

228 The Four Million 

the Provincial Plague of Pose seized upon Towers 
Chandler, lie was on Broadway, surrounded by 
pomp and style, and there were eyes to look at hinu 
On the stage of .that comedy he had assumed to play 
the one-night part of a butterfly of fashion and an 
idler of means and taste. He was dressed for the 
part, and all his good angels had not the power to 
prevent him from acting it. 

So he began to prate to Miss Marian of clubs, of 
teas, of golf and riding and kennels and cotillions 
and tours abroad and threw out hints of a yacht ly- 
ing at Larchmont. He could see that she was vastly 
impressed by this vague talk, so he endorsed his pose 
by random insinuations concerning great wealth, and 
mentioned familiarly a few names that are handled 
reverently by the proletariat. It was Chandler's 
short little day, and he was wringing from it the best 
that could be had, as he saw it. And yet once or 
twice he saw the pure gold of this girl shine through 
the mist that his egotism had raised between him and 
all objects. 

"This way of living that you speak of,** she said, 
'^sounds so futile and purposeless. Haven't you any 
work to do in the world that might interest you 

^My dear Miss Marian," he exclaimed — *Vork! 

Lost on Dress Parade 929 

Think of dressing every day for dinner, of making 
half a dozen calls in an afternoon — with a policeman 
at every corner ready to jump into your auto and 
take you to the station, if you get up any greater 
speed than a donkey cart's gait. We do-nothings 
are the hardest workers in the land." 

The dinner was concluded, the waiter generously 
fed, and the two walked out to the comer where they 
had met. Miss Marian walked very well now; her 
limp was scarcely noticeable. 

" Thank you for a nice time," she said, frankly. 
" I must run home now. I liked the dinner Tery 
much, Mr. Chandler." 

He shook hands with her, smiling cordially, and 
said something about a game of bridge at his club. 
He watched her for a moment, walking rather rap- 
idly eastward, and then he found a cab to drive bun 
slowly homeward. 

In his chilly bedroom Chandler laid away his even- 
ing clothes for a sixty-nine days' rest. He went 
about it thoughtfully. 

"That was a stunning girl," he said to himself. 
"She's all right, too, I'd be sworn, even if she does 
have to v.ork. Perhaps if I'd told her the truth in- 
stead of all that razzle-dazzle we might — but, con 
found it 1 I had to play up to my clothes." 

230 The Four Million 

Thus spoke the brave who was born and reared io 
the wigwams of the tribe of the Manhattans. 

The girl, after leaving her entertainer, sped swiftly 
cross-town until she arrived at a handsome and sedate 
mansion two squares to the east, facing on that ave- 
nue which is tiie highway of Mammon and the aux- 
iliary gods. Here she entered hurriedly and as- 
cended to a room where a handsome young lady in 
an elaborate house dress was looking anxiously out 
the window. 

"Oh, you madcap !" exclaimed the elder girl, when 
the other entered. "When will you quit frightening 
us this way? It is two hours since you ran out in 
that rag of an old dress and Marie's hat. Mamma 
has been so alarmed. She sent Louis in the auto to 
try to find you. You are a bad, thoughtless Puss.** 

The elder girl touched a button, and a maid came 
in a moment. 

"Marie, tell mamma that Miss Marian has re- 

"Don't scold, sister. I only ran down to Mme. 
Theo's to tell her to use mauve insertion instead of 
pink. My costume and Marie's hat were just what 
I needed. Every one thought I was a shopgirl, I 
aPB sure." 

"Dinner is over, dear ; you stayed so late.** 

Lost on Dress Parade 231 

**I know. I slipped on the sidewalk and turned 
my ankle. I could not walk, so I hobbled into a res- 
taurant and sat there until I was better. That is 
why I was so long." 

The two girls sat in the window seat, looking out 
at the Hghts and the stream of hurrying vehicles in 
the avenue. The younger one cuddled down with her 
head in her sister's lap. 

"We will have to marry some day," she said 
dreamily — "both of us. We have so much money 
that we will not be allowed to disappoint the public. 
Do you want me to tell you the kind of a man I could 
love, Sis?" 

"Go on, you scatterbrain," smiled the other. 

"I could love a man with dark and kind blue eyes, 
who is gentle and respectful to poor girls, who is 
handsome and good and does not try to flirt. But 
I could love him only if he had an ambition, an 
object, some work to do in the world. I would not 
care how poor he was if I could help him build his 
way up. But, sister dear, the kind of man we always 
meet — the man who lives an idle life between society 
and his clubs — I could not love a man like that, even 
if his eyes were blue and he were so kind to poor girls 
whom he met in the street." 


It was neither the season nor the hour when the 
Park had frequenters ; and it is likely that the young 
lady, who was seated on one of the benches at the 
side of the walk, had merely obeyed a sudden im- 
pulse to sit for a while and enjoy a foretaste of com- 
ing Spring. 

She rested there, pensive and still. A certain mel- 
ancholy that touched her countenance must have been 
of recent birth, for it had not yet altered the fine and 
youtliful contours of her cheek, nor subdued the arch 
though resolute curve of her lips. 

A tall young man came striding through the park 

along the path near which she sat. Behind him 

tagged a boy carrying a suit-case. At sight of the 

young lady, the man's face changed to red and back 

to pale again. He watched her countenance as he 

drew nearer, with hope and anxiety mingled on his 

own. He passed within a few yards of her, but he 

saw no evidence that she was aware of his presence 

or existence. 

Some fifty yards further on he suddenly stopped 


By Courier 233 

and sat on a bench at one side. The boy dropped 
the suit-case and stared at him with wondering, 
shrewd eyes. The young man took out his handker- 
chief and wiped his brow. It was a good handker- 
chief, a good brow, and the young man was good to 
look at. He said to the boy: 

** I want you to take a message to that young 
lady on that bench. Tell her I am on my way to the 
station, to leave for San Francisco, where I shall join 
that Alaska moose-hunting expedition. Tell her 
that, since she has commanded me neither to speak 
nor to write to her, I take this means of making one 
last appeal to her sense of justice, for the sake of 
what has been. Tell her that to condemn and dis- 
card one who has not deserved such treatment, with- 
out giving him her reasons or a chance to explain 
is contrary to her nature as I believe it to be. Tell 
her that I have thus, to a certain degree, disobeyed 
her injunctions, in the hope that she may yet be 
inclined to see justice done. Go, and tell her that.'* 

The young man dropped a half-dollar into the 
boy's hand. The boy looked at him for a moment 
with bright, canny eyes out of a dirty, intelligent 
face, and then set off at a run. He approached the 
lady on the bench a little doubtfully, but unembar- 
rassed. He touched the brim of the old plaid bicycle 

234 The Four Million 

cap perched on the back of his head. The lady 
looked at him coolly, without prejudice or favour. 

"Lady," he said, "dat gent on dc oder bench sent 
yer a song and dance by me. If yer don't know de 
guy, and he's tryin' to do de Johnny act, say de 
word, and I'll call a cop in free minutes. If yer does 
know him, and he's on de square, w'y I'll spiel yer de 
bunch of hot air he sent yer." 

The j^oung lady betrayed a faint interest. 

"A song and dance!" she said, in a deliberate, 
sweet voice that seemed to clothe her words in a 
diaphanous garment of impalpable irony. "A new 
idea — In the troubadour line, I suppose. I — used 
to know the gentleman who sent you, so I think it will 
hardly be necessary to call the police. You may 
execute your song and dance, but do not sing too 
loudly. It is a little early yet for open-air vaude- 
ville, and we might attract attention." 

"Awe," said the boy, with a shrug down the length 
of him, "yer know what I mean, lady. 'Tain't a 
turn, it's wind. He told me to tell yer he's got his 
collars and cuffs in dat grip for a scoot clean out to 
'Frisco. Den he's goin' to shoot snow-birds in de 
Klondike. lie says yer told him not to send 'round 
no more pink notes nor come hangin' over dc garden 
gate, and he takes dis means of puttin' yer wise. 

By Courier 235 

He says yer refereed him out like a has-been, and 
never give him no chance to kick at de decision. He 
says yer swiped him, and never said why." 

The slightly awakened interest in the young lady's 
eyes did not abate. Perhaps it was caused by cither 
the originality or the audacity of the snow-bird 
hunter, in thus circumventing her express commands 
against the ordinary modes of communication. She 
fixed her ej^e on a statue standing disconsolate in the 
dishevelled park, and spoke into the transmitter: 

"Tell the gentleman that I need not repeat to him 
a description of my ideals. He knows what they 
have been and what they still are. So far as they 
touch on this case, nbsolute loyalty and truth are 
the ones paramount. Tell him that I have studied 
my own heart as well as ono can, and I know its 
weakness as well as I do its needs. That is why I 
decline to hear his pleas, whatever they may be. I 
did not condemn him through hearsay or doubtful 
evidence, and that is why I made no charge. But, 
since he persists in hearing what he already well 
knows, you may convey the matter. 

"Tell him thnt T entered the conservatory that 
evenin^gr from the rear, to cut a rose for mv mother. 
Tell him I snw 1^'m f^r\(\ >Ti«s A«hburton beneath the 
pink oleander. The tableau was pretty, but the pose 

236 The Four Million 

and juxtaposition were too eloquent and evident to 
require explanation. I left the conservatory, and, at 
the same time, the rose and my ideal. You may 
carry that song and dance to your impresario." 

"I'm shy on one word, lady. Jux — jux — put 
me wise on dat, will yer?'* 

"Juxtaposition — or you may call it propinquity 
— or, if you like, being rather too near for one main- 
taining the position of an ideal." 

The gravel spun from beneath the boy's feet. He 
stood by the other bench. The man's eyes interro- 
gated him, hungrily. The boy's were shining with 
the impersonal zeal of the translator. 

" De lady says dat she's on to de fact dat gals 
is dead easy when a feller comes spielin' ghost storiea 
land tryin' to make up, and dat's why she won't listen 
to no soft-soap. She says she caught yer dead to 
rights, huggin' a bunch o' calico in de hot-house. 
She side-stepped in to pull some posies and yer was 
squeezin' de oder gal to beat de band. She says it 
looked cute, all right all right, but it made her sick. 
She says yer better git busy, and make a sneak for 
de train." 

The young man gave a low whistle and his eyes 
flashed with a sudden thought. His hand flew to the 
inside pocket of his coat, and drew out a handful of 

By Courier 287 

letters. Selecting one, he handed it to the boy, fol- 
lowing it with a silver dollar from his vest-pocket. 

" Give that letter to the ladj," he said, " and ask 
her to read it. Tell her that it should explain the 
situation. Tell her that, if she had mingled a little 
trust with her conception of the ideal, much heart- 
ache might have been avoided. Tell her that the 
loyalty she prizes so much has never wavered. Tell 
her I am waiting for an answer." 

The messenger stood before the lady. 

" De gent say*s he's had de ski-bunk put on him 
widout no cause. He says he's no bum guy; and, 
lady, yer read dat letter, and I'll bet ycr he's a white 
sport, all right." 

The young lady unfolded the letter, somewhat 
doubtfully, and read it. 

Dear Dr. Arnold : I want to thank you for your 
most kind and opportune aid to my daughter last 
Friday evening, when she was overcome by an attack 
of her old heart-trouble in the conservatory at Mrs. 
Waldron's reception. Had you not been near to 
catch her as she fell and to render proper attention, 
we might have lost her. I would be glad if you 
would call and undertake the treatment of her case. 

Gratefully yours, 

Robert Ashburton. 

288 The Four Million 

The young lady refolded the letter, and handed it 
to the boy. 

" De gent wants an answer," said the messenger* 
"A^Tiat's dc word?" 

The lady's eyes suddenly flashed on him, bright, 
smiling and wet. 

**Tell that guy on the other bench," she said, with 
a happy, tremulous laugh, ^Hhat his girl wants 


Restless, shifting, fugacious as time itself is a 
certain vast bulk of the population of the red brick 
district of the lower West Side. Homeless, they 
have a hundred homes. They flit from furnished 
room to furnished room, transients forever — tran- 
sients in abode, transients in heart and mind. They 
sing "Home, Sweet Home" in ragtime; they carry 
their lares et penates in a bandbox ; their vine is en- 
twined about a picture hat; a rubber plant is their 
fig tree. 

Hence the houses of this district, having had a 
thousand dwellers, should have a thousand tales to 
tell, mostly dull ones, no doubt; but it would be 
strange if there could not be found a ghost or two 
in the wake of all these vagrant guests. 

One evening after dark a young man prowled 
among these crumbling red mansions, ringing their 
bells. At the twelfth he rested his lean hand-bag- 
gage upon the step and wiped the dust from his hat- 
band and forehead. The bell sounded faint and far 

away in some remote, hollow depths. 


240 The Four Million 

To the door of this, the twelfth house whose bell 
he had rung, came a housekeeper who made him 
think of an unwholesome, surfeited worm that had 
eaten its nut to a hollow shell and now sought to fill 
the vacancy with edible lodgers. 

He asked if there was a room to let. 

"Come in," said the housekeeper. Her voice came 
from her throat; her throat seemed lined with fur. 
**I have the third floor back, vacant since a week 
back. Should you wish to look at it?" 

The young man followed her up the stairs. A 
faint light from no particular source mitigated the 
shadows of the halls. They trod noiselessly upon a 
stair carpet that its own loom would have forsworn. 
It seemed to have become vegetable; to have degen- 
erated in that rank, sunless air to lush lichen or 
spreading moss that grew in patches to the stair- 
case and was viscid under the foot like organic mat- 
ter. At each turn of the stairs were vacant niches 
in the wall. Perhaps plants had once been set within 
them. If so they had died in that foul and tainted 
air. It may be that statues of the saints had stood 
there, but it was not difficult to conceive that imps 
and devils had dragged them forth in the darkness 
and down to the unholy depths of some furnished pit 

The Furnished Room 241 

*'This is the room," said the housekeeper, from her 
furry throat. "It's a nice room. It ain't often 
vacant. I had some most elegant people in it last 
summer — no trouble at all, and paid in advance to 
the minute. The water's at the end of the hall. 
Sprowls and Mooney kept it three months. They 
done a vaudeville sketch. Miss B'retta Sprowls — 
you may have heard of her — Oh, that was just the 
stage names — right there over the dresser is where 
the marriage certificate hung, framed. The gas is 
here, and you see there is plenty of closet room. It's 
a room everybody likes. It never stays idle long.** 

"Do you have many theatrical people rooming 
here?" asked the young man. 

"They comes and goes. A good proportion of 
my lodgers is connected with the theatres. Yes, sir, 
this is the theatrical district. Actor people never 
stays long anywhere. I get my share. Yes, they 
comes and they goes." 

He engaged the room, paying for a week in ad- 
vance. He was tired, he said, and would take pos- 
session at once. He counted out the money. The 
room had been made ready, she said, even to towels 
and water. As the housekeeper moved away he put, 
for the thousandth time, the question that he carried 
at the end of his tongue. 

242 The Four Million 

"A young girl — Miss Vashner — Miss Eloisc 
Vashner — do you remember such a one among your 
lodgers? She would be singing on the stage, most 
likely. A fair girl, of medium height and slender, 
with reddish, gold hair and a dark mole near her 
left eyebrow." 

"No, I don't remember the name. 'Hiem stage 
people has names they change as often as their 
rooms. They comes and they goes. No, I don't 
call that one to mind." 

No. Always no. Five months of ceaseless inter- 
rogation and the inevitable negative. So much time 
spent by day in questioning managers, agents, 
schools and choruses ; by night among the audiences 
of theatres from all-star casts down to music halls so 
low tliat he dreaded to find what he most hoped for. 
He who had loved her best had tried to find her. 
He was sure that since her disappearance from home 
this great, water-girt city held her somewhere, but it 
was like a monstrous quicksand, shifting its par- 
ticles constantly, with no foundation, its upper 
granules of to-day buried to-morrow in oaze and 

The furnished room received its latest guest with 
a first glow of pseudo-hospitality, a hectic, hag- 
gard, perfunctory welcome like the specious smile of 

The Furnished Room 243 

a demirep. The sophistical comfort came in re- 
flected gleams from the decayed furniture, the ragged 
hrocade upholstery of a couch and two chairs, a foot- 
wide cheap pier glass between the two windows, from 
one or two gilfc picture frames and a brass bedstead 
in a corner. 

The guest reclined, inert, upon a chair, w^hile the 
room, confused in speech as though it were an apart- 
ment in Babel, tried to discourse to him of its divers 

A polychromatic rug like some brilliant-flowered 
rectangular, tropical islet lay surrounded by a bil- 
lowy sea of soiled matting. Upon the gay-papered 
wall were those pictures that pursue the homeless 
one from house to house — The Huguenot Lovers, 
The First Quarrel, The Wedding Breakfast, Psyche 
at the Fountain. The mantel's chastely severe out- 
line was ingloriously veiled behind some pert drapery 
drawn rakishly askew like the sashes of the Ama- 
zonian ballet. Upon it was some desolate flotsam 
cast aside by the room's marooned when a lucky 
sail had borne them to a fresh port — a trifling vase 
or two, pictures of actresses, a medicine bottle, some 
stray cards out of a deck. 

One by ore, as the characters of a cryptograph 
become explicit, the little signs left by the furnished 

244 The Four Million 

room's procession of guests developed a significance. 
The threadbare space in the rug in front of the 
dresser told that lovely woman had marched in the 
throng. The tiny finger prints on the wall spoke of 
little prisoners trying to feel their way to sun and 
air. A splattered stain, raying like the shadow of 
a bursting bomb, witnessed where a hurled glass or 
bottle had splintered with its contents against the 
wall. Across the pier glass had been scrawled with 
a diamond in staggering letters the name "Marie." 
It seemed that the succession of dwellers in the fur 
nished room had turned in fury — perhaps tempted 
beyond f orebearance by its garish coldness — and 
Mreaked upon it their passions. The furniture was 
chipped and bruised ; the coucli, distorted by bursting 
springs, seemed a horrible monster that had been 
slain during the stress of some grotesque convul- 
sion. Some more potent upheaval had cloven a great 
slice from the marble mantel. Each plank in the 
floor owned its particular cant and shriek as from a 
separate and individual agony. It seemed incredible 
that all this malice and injury had been wrought 
upon the room by those who had called it for a time 
their home; and yet it may have been the cheated 
home instinct surviving blindly, the resentful rage at 
false household gods that had kindled their wrath* 

The Furnished Room 245 

A hut that is our own we can sweep and adorn and 

The young tenant in the chair allowed these 
thoughts to file, soft-shod, through his mind, while 
there drifted into the room furnished sounds and 
furnished scents. He heard in one room a tittering 
and incontinent, slack laughter ; in others the mono- 
logue of a scold, the rattling of dice, a lullaby, and 
one crying dully; above him a banjo tinkled with 
spirit. Doors banged somewhere ; the elevated trains 
roared intermittently ; a cat yowled miserably upon 
a back fence. And he breathed the breath of the 
house — a dank savour rather than a smell — a cold, 
musty effluvium as from underground vaults mingled 
with the reeking exhalations of linoleum and mil- 
dewed and rotten woodwork. 

Then, suddenly, as he rested there, the room was 
filled with the strong, sweet odour of mignonette. It 
came as upon a single buffet of wind with such 
sureness and fragrance and emphasis that it almost 
seemed a living visitant. And the man cried aloud: 
"What, dear?" as if he had been called, and sprang 
up and faced about. The rich odour clung to hira 
and wrapped him around. He reached out his arms 
for it, all his senses for the time confused and com- 
mingled. How could one be peremptorily called by 

246 The Four Million 

an odour? Surely it must have been a sound. But, 
was it not the sound that had touched, that had 
caressed him? 

" She lias been in this room/' he cried, and he 
sprang to wrest from it a token, for he knew he 
would recognize the smallest thing that had belonged 
to her or that she had touched. This enveloping 
scent of mignonette, the odour that she had loved 
and made her own — whence came it? 

The room had been but carelessly set in order. 
Scattered upon the flimsy dresser scarf were half a 
dozen hairpins — those discreet, indistinguishable 
friends of womankind, feminine of gender, infinite of 
mood and uncommunicative of tense. These he 
ignored, conscious of their triumphant lack of iden- 
tity. Ransacking the drawers of the dresser he came 
upon a discarded, tiny, ragged handkerchief. He 
pressed it to his face. It was racy and insolent with 
heliotrope; he hurled it to the floor. In another 
drawer he found odd buttons, a theatre programme, 
a pawnbroker's card, two lost marshmallows, a book 
on the divination of dreams. In the last was a 
woman's black satin hair bow, which halted him, 
poised between ice and fire. But the black satin hair- 
bow also is femininity's demure, impersonal, eoinmon 
ornament and tells no tales. 

The Furnished Room 247 

And then he traversed the room like a hound on 
the scent, skimming the walls, considering the cor- 
ners of the bulging matting on his hands and knees, 
rummaging mantel and tables, the curtains and hang- 
ings, the drunken cabinet in the corner, for a visible 
sign, unable to perceive that she was there beside, 
around, against, within, above him, clinging to him, 
wooing him, calling him so poignantly through the 
finer senses that even his grosser ones became cog- 
nisant of tlie call. Once again he answered loudly: 
**Yes, dear!" and turned, wild-eyed, to gaze on 
vacancy, for he could not yet discern form and colour 
and love and outstretched arms in the odour of 
mignonette. Ch, God ! whence that odour, and since 
when have odours had a voice to call.? Thus he 

He burrowed in crevices and corners, and found 
corks and cigarettes. These he passed in passive 
contempt. But once he found in a fold of the mat- 
ting a half-smoked cigar, and this he ground be- 
neath his heel with a green and trenchant oath. He 
sifted the room from end to end. He found dreary 
and ignoble small records of many a peripatetic ten- 
ant ; but of her whom he sought, and who may have 
lodged there, and whose spirit seemed to hover there, 
he found no trace. 

248 The Four Million 

And then he thought of the housekeeper. 

He ran from the haunted room downstairs and to 
a door tliat siiowed a crack of light. She came out to 
his knock. He smothered his excitement as best he 

"Will you tell me, madam,'* he besought her, 
"who occupied the room I have before I came.'"* 

"Yes, sir. I can tell jou again. 'Twas Sprowla 
and Mooney, as I said. Miss B'retta Sprowls it was 
in the threatres, but Missis Mooney she was. My 
house is well known for respectability. The mar- 
riage certificate hung, framed, on a nail over — " 

"What kind of a lady was Miss Sprowls — in 
looks, I mean?" 

"Why, black-haired, sir, short, and stout, with a 
comical face. They left a week ago Tuesday." 

"And before they occupied it?" 

"Why, there was a single gentleman connected 
with the draying business. He left owing me a week. 
Before him was Missis Crowder and her two chil- 
dren, that stayed four months; and back of them 
was old Mr. Doyle, whose sons paid for him. He 
kept the room six months. That goes back a year, 
sir, and furtlier I do not remember." 

He thanked her and crept back to his room. The 
room was dead. The essence that had vivified it was 

The Furnished Room 249 

gone. The perfume of mignonette had departed. 
In its place was the old, stale odour of mouldjr house 
furniture, of atmosphere in storage. 

The ebbing of his hope drained his faith. He sat 
staring at the yellow, singing gaslight. Soon he 
walked to the bed and began to tear the sheets into 
strips. With the blade of his knife he drove them 
tightly into every crevice around windows and door. 
When all was snug and taut he turned out the light, 
turned the gas full on again and laid himself grate- 
fully upoH the bed. 

• •••••• 

It was Mrs. McCool's night to go with the can 
for beer. So she fetched it and sat with Mrs. 
Purdy in one of those subterranean retreats where 
house-keepers foregather and the worm dieth sel- 

*'I rented out my third floor, back, this cTening,*' 
'said Mrs. Purdy, across a fine circle of foam. "A 
young man took it. He went up to bed two hours 

"Now, did ye, Mrs. Purdy, ma'am?" said Mrs. 
McCool, with intense admiration. **You do be a 
wonder for rcntin' rooms of that kind. And did ye 
tell him, then?" she concluded in a husky whisper 
laden with mystery. 

250 The Four Million 

**Rooms," said Mrs. Purdjr, in her furriest tones,** 
*^are furnished for to rent. I did not tell him, Mrs. 

"'Tis right ye are, ma'am; 'tis by renting rooms 
we kape alive. Ye have the rale sense for business, 
ma'am. There be many people will rayjict the rent- 
in' of a room if they be tould a suicide has been after 
dyin' in the bed of it." 

"As you say, we has our living to be making,** 
remarked Mrs. Purdy. 

"Yis, ma'am; 'tis true. *Tis just one wake ago 
this day I helped ye lay out the third floor, back. 
A pretty slip of a colleen she was to be killin' her- 
self wid the gas — a swate little face she had, Mrs. 
Purdv, ma'am." 

"She'd a-been called handsome, as you say,** said 
Mrs. Purdy, assenting but critical, "but for that 
mole she had a-growin' by her left eyebrow. Do fill 
up your glass again, Mrs. McCool.'* 


If you do not know Bogle's Chop House and 
Family Restaurant it is your loss. For if you 
are one of the fortunate ones who dine expen- 
sively you should be interested to know how the other 
half consumes provisions. And if you belong to the 
half to whom waiters' checks are things of moment, 
you should know Bogle's, for there you get your 
money's worth — in quantity, at least. 

Bogle's is situated in that highway of bourgeoisie^ 
that boulevard of Brown-Jones-and-Robinson, Eighth 
Avenue. There are two rows of tables in the room, 
six in each row. On each table is a caster-stand, con- 
taining cruets of condiments and seasons. From the 
pepper cruet you may shake a cloud of something 
tasteless and melancholy, like volcanic dust. From 
the salt cruet you may expect nothing. Though a 
man should extract a sanguinary stream from the 
pallid turnip, yet will his prowess be balked when he 
comes to wrest salt from Bogle's cruets. Also upon 
each table stands the counterfeit of that benign 
sauce made **from the recipe of a nobleman in 



252 The Four MilUcm 

At the cashier's desk sits Bogle, cold, sordid, slow, 
smouldering, and takes your money. Behind a moun- 
tain of toothpicks he makes your change, files your 
check, and ejects at you, like a toad, a word about 
the weather. Beyond a corroboration of his meteor- 
ological statement you would better not venture. 
You are not Bogle's friend ; you are a fed, transient 
customer, and you and he may not meet again until 
the blowing of Gabriel's dinner horn. So take your 
change and go — to the devil if you like. There you 
have Bogle's sentiments. 

The needs of Bogle's customers wore supplied by 
two waitresses and a Voice. One of the waitresses 
was named Ailecn. She was tall, beautiful, lively, 
gracious and learned in persiflage. Her other name? 
There was no more necessity for another name at 
Bogle's than there was for finger-bowls. 

The name of the other waitress was Tildy. Why 
do you suggest Matilda? Please listen this time — 
Tildy — Tildy. Tildy was dumpy, plain-faced, and 
too anxious to please to please. Repeat the last 
clause to yourself once or twice, and make the ac- 
quaintance of the duplicate infinite. 

The Voice at Bogle's was invisible. It came from 
the kitchen, and did not shine in the way of ori^'- 
nality. It was a heathen Voice, and contented itself 

The Brief Debut of Tildy 258 

with Tain repetitions of exclamations emitted by the 
waitresses concerning food. 

Will it tire you to be told again that Aileen was 
beautiful? Had she donned a few hundred dollars' 
worth of clothes and joined the Easter parade, and 
had you seen her, you would have hastened to say 
so yourself. 

The customers at Bogle's were her slaves. Six 
tables full she could wait upon at once. They who 
were in a hurry restrained their impatience for the 
joy of merely gazing upon her swiftly moving, grace- 
ful figure. They who had finished eating ate more 
that they might continue in the light of her smiles. 
Every man there — and they were mostly men — 
tried to make his impression upon her. 

Aileen could successfully exchange repartee 
against a dozen at once. And every smile that she 
sent forth lodged, like pellets from a scatter-gun, in 
as many hearts. And all this while she would be 
performing astounding feats with orders of pork and 
beans, pot roasts, ham-and, sausage-and-the-wheats, 
and any quantity of things on the iron and in the 
pan and straight up and on the side. With all this 
feasting and flirting and merry exchange of wit 
Bogle's came mighty near being a salon, with Aileen 
for its Madame R^camler. 

254 The Four Million 

If the transients were entranced by the fascinating 
Aileen, the regulars were her adorers. Tliere was 
much rivalry among many of the steady customers. 
Aileen could have had an engagement every evening. 
At least twice a week some one took her to a theatre 
or to a dance. One stout gentleman whom she and 
Tildy had privately christened " The H6g " pre- 
sented her with a turquoise ring. Another one known 
as "Freshy," who rode on the Traction Company's 
repair wagon, was going to give her a poodle as 
soon as his brother got the hauling contract in the 
Ninth. And the man who always ate spareribs and 
spinach and said he was a stock broker asked her to 
go to "ParsifaP' with him. 

"I don't know where this place is," said Aileen 
while talking it over with Tildy, **but the wedding- 
ring's got to be on before I put a stitch into a travel- 
ling dress — ain't that right? Well, I guess!'* 

But, Tildy! 

In steaming, chattering, cabbage-scented Bogle's 
there was almost a heart tragedy. Tildy with the 
blunt nose, the hay-coloured hair, the freckled skin, 
the bag-o'-meal figure, had never had an admirer. 
Not a man followed her with his eyes when she went 
to and fro in the restaurant save now and then when 
they glared with the beast-hunger for food. None 

The Brief Debut of Tildy 255 

of them bantered her gaily to coquettish interchanges 
of wit. None of them loudly "jollied" her of morn- 
ings as they did Aileen, accusing her, when the eggs 
were slow in coming, of late hours in the company 
of envied swains. No one had ever given her a tur- 
quoise ring or invited her upon a voyage to mysteri- 
ous, distant "Parsifal." 

Tildy was a good waitress, and the men tolerated 
her. They who sat at her tables spoke to her briefly 
with quotations from the bill of fare ; and then raised 
their voices in honeyed and otherwise-flavoured ac- 
cents, eloquently addressed to the fair Aileen. They 
writhed in their chairs to gaze around and over the 
impending form of Tildy, that Aileen's pulchritude 
might season and make ambrosia of their bacon and 

And Tildy was content to be the unwooed drudge 
if Aileen could receive the flattery and the homage. 
The blunt nose was loyal to the short Grecian. She 
was Aileen's friend ; and she was glad to see her rule 
hearts and wean the attention of men from smoking 
pot-pie and lemon meringue. But deep below our 
freckles and hay-coloured hair the unhandsomest of 
us dream of a prince or a princess, not vicarious, but 
coming to us alone. 

There was a morning when Aileen tripped in to 

256 The Four Million 

work with a slightly bruised eye; and Tildy'a solici- 
tude was almost enough to heal any optic 

^Tresh guy," explained Aileen, "last night as 
I was going home at Twenty-third and Sixth. 
Sashayed up, so he did, and made a break. I turned 
him down, cold, and he made a sneak; but followed 
me down to Eighteenth, and tried his hot air again* 
Gee ! but I slapped him a good one, side of the f ace* 
Then he give me that eye. Does it look real awful. 
Til? I should hate that Mr. Nicholson should see 
it when he comes in for his tea and toast at ten.*' 

Tildy listened to the adventure with breathless 
admiration. No man had ever tried to follow her. 
She was safe abroad at any hour of the twenty-four. 
What bliss it must have been to have had a man fol- 
low one and black one's eye for love! 

Among the customers at Bogle's was a young man 
named Seeders, who worked in a laundry office. Mr. 
Seeders was thin and had light hair, and appeared to 
have been recently rough-dried and starched. He 
was too diffident to aspire to Aileen's notice; so he 
usually sat at one of Tildy's tables, where he devoted 
himself to silence and boiled weakfish. 

One day when Mr. Seeders came in to dinner he 
had been drinking beer. There were only two or 
three customers in the restaurant. When Mr. SeecU 

The Brief Debut of Tildy 257 

ers had finished his weakfish he got up, put his arm 
around Tildy's waist, kissed her loudly and impu- 
dently, walked out upon the street, snapped his 
fingers in the direction of the laundry, and hied him- 
self to play pennies in the slot machines at the 
Amusement Arcade. 

For a few moments Tildy stood petrified. Then 
she was aware of Aileen shaking at her an arch fore- 
finger, and saying: 

"Why, Til, you naughty girl! Ain't you getting 
to be awful. Miss Slyboots! First thing I know 
you'll be stealing some of my fellows. I must keep 
an eye on you, my lady." 

Another thing dawned upon Tildy's recovering 
wits. In a moment she had advanced from a hope- 
less, lowly admirer to be an Eve-sister of the potent 
Aileen. She herself was now a man-charmer, a mark 
for Cupid, a Sabine who must be coy when the 
Romans were at their banquet boards. Man had 
found her waist achievable and her lips desirable. 
The sudden and amatory Seeders had, as it were, per- 
formed for her a miraculous piece of one-day laundry 
work. He had taken the sackcloth of her uncome- 
liness, had washed, dried, starched and ironed it, and 
returned it to her sheer embroidered lawn — the robe 
of Venus herself. 

258 The Four Million 

The freckles on Tildy's checks merged into a rosy 
flush. Now both Circe and Psyche peeped from her 
brightened eyes. Not even Aileen herself had been 
publicly embraced and kissed in the restaurant. 

Tildy could not keep the delightful secret. Whcp 
trade was slack she went and stood at Bogle's deski 
Her eyes were shining ; she tried not to let her words 
sound proud and boastful. 

"A gentleman insulted me to-day,'* she said. **He 
hugged me around the waist and kissed me." 

^^That so?" said Bogle, cracking open his buai" 
ness armour. ^^ After this week you get a dollar a 
week more." 

At the next regular meal when Tildy set food be- 
fore customers with whom she had acquaintance she 
said to each of them modestly, as one whose merit 
needed no bolstering: 

"A gentleman insulted me to-day in the restau- 
rant. He put his arm around my waist and kissed 

The diners accepted the revelation in various ways 
— some incredulously, some with congratulations; 
others turned upon her the stream of badinage that 
had hitherto been directed at Aileen alone. And 
Tildy's heart swelled in her bosom, for she saw at 
last the towers of Romance rise above the horizon 

The Brief Debut of Tildy 259 

of the grey plain in which she had for so long trav- 

For two days Mr. Seeders came not again. Dur- 
ing that time Tildy established herself firmly as a 
woman to be wooed. She bought ribbons, and ar- 
ranged her hair like Aileen's, and tightened her 
waist two inches. She had a thrilling but delightful 
fear that Mr. Seeders would rush in suddenly and 
shoot her with a pistol. He must have loved her des- 
perately; and impulsive lovers are always blindly 

Even Aileen had not been shot at with a pistoL 
And then Tildy rather hoped that he would not shoot 
at her, for she was always loyal to Aileen; and she 
did not want to overshadow her friend. 

At 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the third day Mn 
Seeders came in. There were no customers at the 
tables. At the back end of the restaurant Tildy was 
refilling the mustard pots and Aileen was quartering 
pies. Mr. Seeders walked back to where they stood. 

Tildy looked up and saw him, gasped, and pressed 
the mustard spoon against her heart. A red hair- 
bow was in her hair ; she wore Venus's Eighth Avenue 
badge, the blue bead necklace with the swinging silver 
symbolic heart. 

Mr. Seeders was flushed and embarrassed. He 

260 The Four Million 

plunged one hand into his hip pocket and the other 
into a fresh pumpkin pie. 

"Miss Tildy," said he, "I want to apologise for 
what I done the other cvenin'. Tell you the truth, I 
was preti J well tanked up or I wouldnH of done. it. 
I wouldn't do no lady that a-way when I was sober. 
So I hope, Miss Tildy, you'll accept my 'pology, and 
believe that I wouldn't of done it if I'd known what 
I was doin' and hadn't of been drunk." 

With this handsome plea Mr. Seeders backed away, 
and departed, feeling that reparation had been made. 

But behind the convenient screen Tildy had thrown 
herself flat upon a table among the butter chips and 
the coffee cups, and was sobbing her heart out — out 
and back again to the grey plain wherein travel they 
with blunt noses and hay-coloured hair. From her 
knot she had torn the red hair-bow and cast it upon 
the floor. Seeders she despised utterly; she had but 
taken his kiss as that of a pioneer and prophetic 
prince who might have set the clocks going and the 
pages to running in fairyland. But the kiss had 
been maudlin and unmeant ; the court had not stirred 
at the false alarm ; she must f orevermore remain the 
Sleeping Beauty. 

Yet not all was lost. Aileen's arm was around